1) A city map
2) A menu
3) An Intrepid Trip Notes Paper
4) A flyer someone hands you on the street
5) In desperation, just about anything
So we have been in Belgrade for one and a half days now. You may recall Belgrade as a site of NATO bombings not so long ago in the Kosovo War. I am in an internet cafe called the KGB. There are (again) about a zillion computers for playing games (Warcraft, half-life, etc) and five stations for internet users. There is also loud pounding music and funky lights.
Yesterday we had a “short” 5-hour walking tour of Belgrade. It was only supposed to be 2 hours (with one hour indoors) but it turned out to be a little longer. In order to convince myself to set foot in the sun, I decided to use reverse psychology. So for several hours I hummed Christmas carols, made comments like “gosh, I should have brought my winter jacket” etc. I did survive the tour, and it was nice to see Belgrade, but it sure was HOT and no amount of reverse psychology cured that!
Some miscellaneous pictures from Belgrade. These are some of the pictures of the fortress that has been taken and retaken more than 80 times over the history of Belgrade by various forces. It is strategically located at the convergence of two rivers (the Danube and another one that I can’t remember).
Above is one of the white walls (Bel Grade is known as the “white city” although not any of it is white except the old fortress walls).
Here are some more interesting pictures. Your job could be a “walking billboard” in 40 degrees Celsius heat wearing black clothing (but you do get to chat on your cell phone while you do it).
What do you do when it is this hot? (and the humidity is this high too)… Well, you catch up on your movies. The Cinema is in English with Serbian subtitles. So after a taxi (air conditioned, thank goodnes) I decided to see Ocean’s Thirteen. And who should be sitting behind me in the theatre but Max and Karen. After Ocean’s 13, we decided it should be a double feature and after a short ice cream break, we went back for Die Hard 4. For all of you who like to watch Jack almost be killed time and time again in 24, you should really get yourself out to see Die Hard. It was very entertaining and there was a lot of “cute” banter between John McClaine and his young cyber-friendly sidekick Matt.
We have a 7.5 hour bus trip to Sarejevo tomorrow, leaving at 6am, so I’d better go for now. I’m not sure how much more of this oven-like heat I can endure, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the bus at least has windows (or even better, air conditioning). It’s hard to complain about things like lack of air conditioning when you’ve seen the kind of conditions that people in these parts have endured under communism, under the Nazis, etc. Every time I think that I am just too uncomfortable to bear it anymore, I remember the photos of the people packed into cattle cars for the 10-day trip to the concentration camps, where many of them were immediately killed in the gas chambers, and then it seems a bit unreasonable to complain about such things.
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