The Bodacious Belgrade Blog

April 1, 2009

1 Year Anniversary

Filed under: Uncategorized — bunitingi @ 3:09 pm

Sorry for the delay but i’ve been working this week.

Well, it’s been a year here in eastern europe. It’s all gone pretty well and we’re happy and for the moment comfortable.

So what do i miss or not miss about the good ol’ US, glorious promised land of our forefathers?

Miss:

1. BEER!!! Seriously, this has not diminished. I HAVE found an irish pub here where you can get Guinness drafts (for 8$ a beer) so if i’m desperate and want to pay through the yin yang, i can have a Guinness. But it’s not the same as on my way home stopping by a grocery and choosing from a wonderful selection of tasty microwbrews. Or even just a good ol’ reliable Sam Adams.

I’ve been asked what about belgium beers or english ales? I would happily drink either but even THEY aren’t available here. No, just this serbian swill. (sorry my serbian homies, but if you could just taste a Sam Adams or a Magic Hat you’d understand. Sigh.

2. Food in general. There are some good dishes here, but there’s very little in the way of selection. All restaurants have EXACTLY the SAME menu. ALL. There is 1 place that has good sushi (not a big selection, but killer anyway) and you can find a couple italian restaurants and definitely a bunch of chinese (alas, all the chinese suck sadly) but really that’s it.

I do miss the option of mexican or french or greek or thai or indian, all of them killer. And it’s not just living in new york. In any american city i’ve lived, such as portland or pittsburgh both of which are definitely no bigger than belgrade (probably smaller) the selection is way vaster.

3. Having conversations in english.

I still don’t speak the language. The fault is entirely my own, but it’s real lonely and boring. I substitute facebook. Back when i went OUT i met lots of people who spoke english and had lots of fun conversation, but since i am now a bit LIMITED as to a social schedule, i mostly see maja’s family and her brother’s circle or friends, and that means no english. Hence facebook.

4. My friends. Yes, i miss all of you bastards and bastardettes.

5. BARNES AND NOBLE!!! BOY do i miss barnes and noble. I LOVE to shop for books. LOVE it. Sigh again.

Annnnnd…. uhm….. i think that’s about it. Of the top of my head. See, for everything else, there’s the internets.

What i don’t miss:

1. American Media. Seriously, y’all can have it. The insane over inundation of particular stories. I do not know what’s happening with Britney (and for that matter am only vaguely aware of the whole Rihanna/Chris Brown thing), and do not have to listen to a swarm of political pundits analyze and critisize every bowel movement Obama makes. I am in a blissful state of silent zen. I check Google news for 10 minutes and go about my day.

2. Stupid right wing commentators who simply bitch into a microphone repeating a vapid sound byte over and over instead of making a careful, intelligent case for their point. Hannity, Rush, whatever radio guys whose names i will never know, that chunky retard someone on facebook sent me a link to whose name once again i am mercifully ignorant of (chris something maybe?)… you can keep ’em all.

3. Waitresses and other retail people who

a). Smile and speak WAY too sugarcoatingly nicely, and

b). When the same folks have to follow a f***** SCRIPT!!!! In both cases, especially the latter, it is the fault of the establishment in which they work. I HATE those scripts (upsell! upsell!) and am also annoyed by an overnice, totally false demeanor. BOY does that NOT exist here. Hell, in some cases they cold use a passing familiarity with the concept of customer service, but it’s at least totally refreshing and i prefer the realness.  (Hi my name is Heather ask me to tell you about blah blah **** blah…)

4. COMMERCIAL INTERRUPTIONS EVERY F***** SEVEN MINUTES!!!!! AAAAAAAHHH!!!!! Omg, i HATED that! Here, commercial break every half hour. And i barely watch TV as i download all the shows i’m addicted to. (good bye battlestar galactica. You were AWEsome. sniff. On the other land Lost is the best it’s ever been.)  But DAMN, you can SO keep those insanely over frequent commercial breaks.

5. Lastly, americans have such a bloody issue with immigrants and foreigners in general. Folks across the ocean here are very kind and accepting of foreigners. Unless you’re Dutch. The Dutch suck. I hate the damn dutch and have found them (only the men though) to be the rudest sons of bitches around. But i digress. If i have to listen to one more redneck retard bitch to or about latinos or foreigners in general i’m gonna put a serious beat down on their inbred hineys. I’m sure there are plenty of ignorant jackasses here, but i haven’t met them and in general the climate itself is WAY better.

So there you have it. My little list.

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7 Comments »

  1. We should send you your own beer making kit. Then you can have homegrown at your own convenience!

    Comment by Henry — April 1, 2009 @ 3:49 pm | Reply

  2. It’s interesting, the customer service thing. There was a definite shift when I moved from NYC back to Texas. New Yorkers even at their chirpiest have a hard time matching the sing-songy overacting that is the Middle American customer service style. It is suffocating at times, and there are moments when I prefer the indifference of NYC shopkeepers (though Arab & Indian convenience store owners have a bit of that). It can go too far, of course, and sometimes I’m glad that someone is falling over themselves to make my shopping experience worth it, rather than eyeing me as something that may have just come off their shoe. It’s a hard balance to strike.

    Based on my Borough Park experience (Russian Orthodox Jews), I can imagine the stone-faced shopkeepers over there. It’s a hell of a thing.

    Wish I could help you with that beer thing, but I’d probably just end up getting some Customs official drunk.

    Comment by matthew — April 2, 2009 @ 12:00 am | Reply

  3. The fake niceness and waspy politeness…it drives me insane and is one of the reasons I want to leave the US. I don’t mesh well with this culture. If only it was limited to retail staff. I would much rather have someone express some anger towards something as opposed to, as I recently observed, someone calmly smiling as they say “boy, that movie really pissed me off 🙂 🙂 :)” Where is the authenticity? It’s got to be psychologically and emotionally harmful to suppress spontaneous human reactions to things for the sake of pleasantness. Being human is somehow being “intense” over here. whatever the robots say. hehhehe…just kidding…hope not to offend anyone…errr…sorry.

    Comment by lucia — April 2, 2009 @ 3:42 am | Reply

  4. I’m very offended. Why are you being so intense???

    Comment by matthew — April 2, 2009 @ 4:38 am | Reply

  5. Come back home, you three! We miss you!

    Seriously. I know you worry about “jobs” and “healthcare” and “eating” but shit…we need you in this country! So just get your asses back here, stat!

    /only sorta kidding

    Comment by emjaybee — April 4, 2009 @ 5:25 am | Reply

  6. Where be the posts man?!

    Comment by Henry — April 29, 2009 @ 11:19 pm | Reply

  7. Seconded.

    Comment by matthew — April 30, 2009 @ 4:19 am | Reply


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