Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New York in Europe

Socialism screaming in the streets; Cyrillic alphabets making love with the letters from the Latin world and no one knows their place anymore. A café called Supermarket that used to a supermarket in its earlier versions is booming with beautiful people. Bohemian crowd mingles and eats proportions of ice cream and chocolate brownies (both served with strawberries, pistachio, marzipan, chocolate pieces, rum, white chocolate and raspberries) that could compete with its American counterparts. The city is dreamy and it is most definitely nothing like Paris, it is more like a New York but socialist, more demanding and outstanding, tolerating to the point that it becomes intolerant. Gay (and straight and bisexual and things that I am unable to put in a box) people lining for parties hours and hours, a beer for less than a euro and girls making out as if there is no tomorrow. An apartment transformed into a hostel; one room is modified into a double, another into a dormitory with four beds; and there is no one else than you & the person who you love, the whole apartment (including kitchen, bathroom, dormitory) is yours because reception (that is in the kitchen) works only for twelve hours, starting at eight am. Famous Belgrade winds freezing your ankles, elbows and toes, they wish you Merry February and you decide at that very moment, that when spring comes you will come again to the socialist New York where Cyrillic alphabets make love with the Latin letters.

In Belgrade I met Marija & Zeljko; people that I had seen last February in Strasbourg and that was the first and only time I saw them. We had known each other only for one week, but it felt like we had never been apart from each other; gossiping and exchanging stories and remembering times that happened so long time ago. I met Jelena, Hristina and Maya and these people I met two weeks ago in Osijek when they took part in a training and we connected so well that I had to come and see them in Belgrade and it was wonderful to realize that in a week you can establish friendships that will last longer than the ones that you have been building for years. I met more and more people and suddenly I came to realize I knew more people in Belgrade than I do in my current home town; Belgrade offers you friends on a silver platter; she has people from all backgrounds and worlds, it merges a mixture of things together as Cape Town and Amsterdam does and suddenly you have a cosmopolitan where gay-bashing happens in one corner and in the another you see a young black man kissing a white girl. You are safe; and you are unsafe; and things are certainly more exciting.

Belgrade along with Amsterdam, Cape Town, New Delhi and Montreal is one of those cities that I have already visited, but will visit many times more in the future again.


  1. "New York in Europe" Precisely. And I'm surprised that you refer to Belgrade as she, it's always been very male to me. One of the rare male cities in fact.

    I'm somewhat euphoric and very very happy that you understand and like Belgrade, though.

  2. I am used to think all the cities as females, although I must admit that when you say it Belgrade seems very masculine. I need to re-think this now.

    We should meet up there one day. Belgrade was fascinating.