Having thoroughly decontaminated ourselves after our special trip to Petroland in Novi Sad, we’re back in Bor for our last week before the girls start school. The heat wave is supposed to last until the weekend, so we’re planning on living at the (much cleaner) pool in Bor until we go. For now, here are some random findings for my internet partners today:
-Locally, pharmacies are known as “Apotekas”. Unlike in North America, almost all products are behind the counter, so you must engage with the pharmacist. Bandaids, vitamins, aloe vera gel, almost everything is behind the counter. Rare exceptions are sunscreen, thermometers, sunglasses, face creams, and the like.
-I believe I’m still freaking people out by trying to greet everyone I see. I smile at everyone (maybe a little too widely). Serbs do not do this. This does not seem to be their custom, so I’m thinking that maybe they are suspicious of me or think I’m in some way challenged. Most reactions to my smile or greeting are genuine surprise or furrowed brows. I want to hug the people that acknowledge me in return, but they might beat me, so I think I’ll leave that part out.
-I’ve learned that the less material you have on your swimsuit bottoms, the smaller your rear appears. My swimsuit gets smaller the longer I’m here. (My rear, not so much.)
-I’ve never in my life experienced heat like I have here. Yesterday, it reached 42.5°C. The heat wave, deemed “Lucifer”, has settled on the area like a blanket of lava. On our drive back to Bor yesterday, we witnessed several grass and bush fires. An older blue Volkswagen lit on fire beside us while we were driving on the highway. The entire underside of the car was engulfed in flames. The flames went out when the driver stopped. Maybe this isn’t related to Lucifer, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was.
-We went shoe shopping so the girls could get some new runners for school. Every store we went to gave us only one shoe to try on. We had to ask, repeatedly, to get the other shoe so the girls could try them on properly.
-You are not necessarily safe from prying eyes once you enter a washroom in Serbia. Cleaning staff of the opposite gender routinely enter washrooms while occupied. For women, this is not so bad because we typically have private stalls. Chris, however, has been surprised on more than one occasion when a woman walks in to clean beside him – mid stream.