Belgrade, Serbia..my first 15 days
Growing up, I was always taught to not judge a book by its cover. I have to admit that I have done a good job of this throughout my life, that was until I got to Belgrade, Serbia. We arrived to Belgrade pretty late at night, after a day of driving on a bus. I was hot, tired, and it was dark. As we drove to our apartment that night, I remember thinking this place looks dirty, scattered, and random. The next morning my roommate Stacey and I went out for a walk to explore our new city. I turned a corner and arrived to the location below and my mind started shifting to my more common positive mindset. I have to say, after getting to know this city more, I owe it an apology for my initial thoughts. Belgrade, I am sorry, and you have proven me wrong in a lot of different ways and I really like you, a lot. See below for some of my highlights thus far.
This was my first Indenpendence Day outside of the United States. A group of us met up early in the day and had Ice Cream. Our group then had our Welcome Event later in the day. The event was at a bar called Hot Mess. We all got together, listened to dance music, watched a fire dancer, and tried to make the most of not being in America for Independence Day.
One of the biggest music festivals in Europe takes place about an hour outside of Belgrade. The festival is called Exit Festival. A group of us went to the festival on the Saturday night of it. We took a bus, saw the Vaccines, danced at a silent disco, walked around and made our way back to Belgrade around sunrise. It was a great experience for my first music festival.
My apartment is a lot different this month. Its a truly unique place to live. It has wood floors, leather couches and a shower, that would, well, it has a shower. It is surrounded by indigenious wildlife, I believe the term for the main animal that lives in our area is Stray Cat. My roommates are Montrey, and Stacey, they are really nice, I like both of them, and we have had some nice bonding moments in the living room.
Serbian Medical Care
Belgrade marks the first city in which I had to go to a doctor. I have had some major trouble breathing, and it was causing me to not sleep at night. There is a lot of smoking in Belgrade, like A LOT. In the US, you can very easily avoid being around smoke. Here that is not the case, they don't care, and will smoke anywhere and everywhere. It was bad in Prague as well, but for some reason, Belgrade did me in. So one morning, I headed to a local hospital to get checked out. I was seen right away, they were nice, it was a little tough to communicate, and I had to turn some sort of shot they wanted to give me. I was also able to get an ECG, and good news everybody, according to what looked like a machine out of the 90's, my heartbeat appears to be pretty good. I ended up getting a prescription for an inhaler, and have been better since. Here, when you pick up a perscription, they grab it right away, charge you for it, and then give you back your prescription from the doctor in case you need it again. All and all it was a postive experience.
Serbian Basketball, TRX Rexy, Protests
We watched the Serbian Basketball team take on the Czech Republic in the Semi's of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Serbia dominated, and then won the next time and will be participating in the Olympics.
A group of us get together in a park in the mornings and do TRX workouts. A couple of times a random stray dog has showed up and just laid there while we workout. Upon completing our workout, the dog would then proceed to follow us home. We are contemplating making him our Remote Year mascot.
There is a proposed development for the riverfront of Belgrade. The citizens are protesting and the other night, we had a Town Hall/Community Connect Meeting and happened to be right in the thick of it. They were playing American music, and right before talking played the Super Mario Bros. music. It was very interesting to see first hand.
Belgrade is a city in which I am falling in love with. It is a city that I would have ever thought I would have visited in my life, and I am glad to be taking it all in. We only have 15 days left here and I am taking 8 of those days and going on a boating journey in Croatia with 8 of my fellow Remotes. Stay tuned, more to come, thank you for reading.