A ‘crazy’ Serb trying to order Serbian food specialities (Burek, pljeskavica, etc.) in fast food chains in the United States. This ‘crazy’ Serb is even trying to pay in Serbian Dinars in the United States! A funny video:
This past June, Radmila Milinkov a Canadian of Yugoslav/Serbian origin, and her husband traveled to Serbia. The last time Radmila had visited, it was still Yugoslavia. She was considerably apprehensive of traveling to Serbia for two reasons – They’re an interracial couple, and she was afraid that the changes would break her heart. And, in the end, she was pleasantly surprised with her visit to Serbia, and her husband fell in love with Serbia and Serbian people. It’s well worth reading Radmila’s blog post in full, but here’s a short excerpt:
The Mister was pleasantly surprised that almost everyone we met spoke some English, and so much of TV was in English with Serbian subtitles, that he didn’t feel the isolation he experienced when we were in Spain a few years ago.
Because we’re an interracial couple, we were concerned that he might be uncomfortable, but the warmth and friendliness of the people soon put our concerns to rest. Everyone we met went out of their way to be kind and ask after how we were enjoying our stay, specifically how he liked Serbia. My Mister fell in love with Serbia and its’ people. We did not have one negative interaction.
My Mister received many sincere smiles and waves from strangers. The warmth of the people made this the best vacation we’ve spent over our 20 years together.
As a born Serb, it made me proud.
José Reis Santos, a socialist activist and blogger, recently had the opportunity to travel to Serbia and France. He tried to go to Belgrade again this weekend, but he couldn’t. Apparently, a Portuguese can’t drive a EU rental car into Serbia. José Reis Santos was naturally outraged by this, and put up an excellent blog post. He argues, quite well here, that the fear of the Serbs – ‘these barbarians’ who live outside the peaceful and civilized EU is just unfounded:
I felt for the first time, what is to be a European citizen and have differentiated rights of my other fellow Europeans. I felt bad, of course. With so many examples of barbarity in the inner space of the Union, and with so many other examples of civility in the ‘barbarian world’, why should we, ‘Europeans- citizen’ to be placed on moral pedestals when often we give example of the reverse?
It seems there is fear of what the Serbs – these ‘barbarians’ – may do to our car, but if you want to rent the same car and park in the outskirts of civilized Sarkosy France, there is little fear; and to be honest I would probably feel more safe (myself and ‘my car’) in the streets of Belgrade than in the suburbs of Paris…
He then goes into detail on why the ‘cool’ and ‘advanced’ EU should examine its overall policy and its own attitude towards Serbia. The whole thing is quite fascinating. Here’s just a snippet, but again, the whole post is worth reading:
Now, I understand that hypocrisy in international relations is often used to disguise the strategic interests of major system players. What they do not understand is how this Europe of ours has not yet abounded the prejudice it has for some of our close neighbors; who are as ‘civilized’ as us (or even more). And we spend so much time and energy trying to show everybody how ‘cool’ and ‘advanced’ our Union to everybody (when we are not), while trying to block this or that country to enter our ‘civilized club’ due to his ‘barbarian practices’; that indeed we fail to understand that some of this ‘barbarian’ are in fact quite civilized, starting with the Serbs…
Late last year, we wrote up a story about an upcoming documentary film titled as ‘The Long Road Through Balkan History’ where two writers, a Croat, Miljenko Jergovic, and a Serb, Marko Vidojkovic, shared the driving in a Yugo through Balkans’s history. The trailer looks good:
And the film is amazing. ‘The Long Road Through Balkan History’ has been recently uploaded to Youtube. This last part is my favorite of all, but it’s worth watching the whole thing:
Lori Dyan, a Canadian writer currently querying her first novel while simultaneously raising two young children, is married to a Serb.
My husband, the Serb, is in many ways my opposite: he speaks five languages; spends more time on his hair than I do; and has the kind of temper and ability to hold a grudge that you’d expect from a people still lamenting battles they lost over 600 years ago.
Lori Dyan is currently in Serbia to reunite with family and friends her husband, the Serb, hasn’t seen in over 20 years. She put up an interesting blog post talking about her favorite new city, Novi Sad.
According to my husband, who went to high school here, every day feels like Saturday, and it’s true: Sunday night and Monday morning find the same crowds of people in the main square across from our hotel. Cobblestone side streets are pedestrian-only and filled with cafe tables that inspire journal writing over an early-morning espresso (or, mad scribbling while your kids scarf down some pastries).
However, where it gets most interesting, is when she discusses “You might be in Serbia if…” Here’s a short excerpt, but it’s worth reading the whole thing. It’s well written, and funny:
Whether they’re drinking on a patio, taking their kids to the park or going to work, everyone here looks sharp. The women wear form-fitting clothes and high heels to mail a letter. If someone wore pajamas to grab a coffee, like they do on TLC’s What Not To Wear, my husband claims they’d be arrested on the spot. This is not to say that everything is perfect, sartorially-speaking: you might also be in Serbia if, when shopping, you find a large assortment of Speedos in the boys’ department. Apparently, they like to start ‘em young.