Aug 172010

And now for my general observations about Serbia (or everything in my blog notes that didn’t find its way into any of the preceding posts)…

  • Serbia seems like the perfect “linguistic segway” into Ukraine. Whereas Ukraine almost exclusively uses Russian/Ukrainian (writing only in the Cyrillic alphabet), Serbia actually uses both the Cyrillic and Roman writing systems simultaneously – meaning that street signs, menus, maps, and transit tickets are all doubled up. The perfect way to practice!
  • One funny word I’ve noticed constantly throughout this part of the world is “Super.” They say it when anything good happens: a deal is made, a reservation is complete, a plan is understood, etc. It doesn’t sound so funny now that I’m writing it – but somehow their pronunciation always makes me chuckle. “Alright, we’ll meet up at 8.” “Sooouuu-pehhhr!”
  • There are quite a large number of stray dogs in Belgrade…which is weird considering there were so many stray cats in Croatia.
  • For as famous as it is, nightlife in Belgrade is also remarkably cheap. Splavs never charge admission, and beers are rarely more than 2 euros.
  • One thing I’ve noticed about Serbians, and indeed people of this whole region, is that they’re remarkably friendly and helpful. As I mentioned previously, almost every hostel in Belgrade boasts reviews of “the most kind and helpful staff I’ve ever experienced.” Just like Igor at Manga Hostel, the owner of Sun Hostel, and the Bosnian woman in Mostar – people just seem to go out of their way to be nice and welcoming. It’s really a pleasant feeling.
  • One thing I didn’t notice until the ride from Sarajevo to Belgrade was that I hadn’t seen even a single Mc Donald’s since Budapest – and no Starbuck’s since Paris! I think this is the first time I’ve been anywhere with so few Mc Donald’s, which populate virtually every street corner in every major city from Shanghai to Cairo. But here in Eastern Europe, even the capitals don’t seem to have them – or if they do, they certainly aren’t very common.
  • I’m not sure if I quite emphasized just how huge electronic and house music are in Serbia. Not only clubs, but everywhere from McDonalds to hair salons to supermarkets play the latest chart-topping hits. It feels like there’s a little party…virtually everywhere you go.

  9 Responses to “Serbia Observations”

  1. Any place devoid of McDonalds has to be great!

  2. Good hostels are nice πŸ™‚

  3. I like the way how ya look on Serbia πŸ™‚ and i am really glad that ya have such good opinion about it πŸ™‚ If ya come back one day ya must see “Kafana” lol Now ya saw Splavs other time when ya come ya must see Kafana πŸ˜€

    P.S We have McDonalds lol even my home town have it πŸ˜›

  4. >>I like the way how ya look on Serbia πŸ™‚ and i am really glad that ya have such good opinion about it

    Well, I only write what I see πŸ˜‰

    >>We have McDonalds lol even my home town have it

    Of course! What I meant was that I hadn’t even noticed how neither Croatia nor Bosnia seemed to have them…until I saw them again in Serbia.

    >>If ya come back one day ya must see β€œKafana”

    Looks interesting! Yeah, I really do hope to come back someday (preferably in July/August πŸ˜‰ ). Even the owner of Sun Hostel insisted that I promise to return, relenting that the city I’d been experiencing was nothing like what Belgrade usually has to offer. “There aren’t so many attractions, museums, or historical sights – it’s really all about vibe. On a warm summer night you can go outside at 1am and it feels as busy as noon on a Saturday, the splavs are so full you can literally see them swaying from all the people dancing onboard, and when the skies are blue, the Ada beaches are overflowing. It just hasn’t started it yet because…well…have a look outside…”

    Thankfully I did get a quick taste of this on my last Sunday…but I want more! hehe πŸ˜›

  5. Yes owner of that hostel is right about it πŸ™‚ and of course july and august are the best for that. Just this year in july we was like England πŸ˜› august was much more better πŸ˜€ very sunny πŸ˜€ But ya know i didn’t notice that ya was unhappy cuz of bad weather lol ya was laughing on the rain lol Plus when we met ya was just in t-shirt with sleeve in your pocket πŸ˜› I hope when ya come next time that weather will be better πŸ˜€
    “Kafana” is next that ya must see πŸ˜€ there ya can hear that “typical” Serbian music πŸ˜› but i still think that ya will love that place same like “Splavs” πŸ˜€ “Kafana” and “Rakija Slivovitza” (Serbian national/traditional alcohol drink) πŸ˜›

  6. >>But ya know i didn’t notice that ya was unhappy cuz of bad weather lol ya was laughing on the rain lol

    Haha sure, I was emailing you about the crap-weather ever since I got to Budapest, silly! πŸ˜›

  7. Hehe i remember e-mails about Budapest crap-weather πŸ˜€ just i didn’t notice that in Belgrade πŸ˜€
    Anyway like ya know i love raining πŸ˜€

  8. >>Anyway like ya know i love raining

    I know…and I think that’s crazy, haha πŸ˜‰

  9. Aw maybe a lil bit πŸ˜›

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