I’m alive. Let’s start with that. As some of you know, I finally started driving in Belgrade on Monday. I went to Europcar, picked up my ridiculously overpriced rental and left the gates with a mixture of excitement and terror. 5 minutes later, I realized that I had worked myself into an irrational fear and should have started driving months ago. No one hit me and there were really no close calls but I think this is because I adopted this mantra:
- Everyone on the road wants to kill me
- Every person or animal living in the country will likely jump out in front of the car when I least expect it
- Blaring horns are people’s way of letting me know how incredibly awesome I am
- There are no rules. Anything goes. Including the total abandonment of your car in the middle of a major thoroughfare. And parking behind another car so they cannot possibly leave unless they a) run over people or animals b) drive into the nearest building or c) cuddle all the vehicles around it, including yours, to sneak out (most likely)
To be fair, I haven’t left our cozy little alcove of Senjak yet. This, for my foreign friends, is our little international neighborhood close to embassies and international schools. I almost embarked a little further yesterday, itching to go to the mall, but I wasn’t quite brave enough yet.
Beside driving, it’s been nice to get back into the routine of things after a very busy Christmas season. I can’t lie, I much prefer Serbia’s weather to Canada’s. What I don’t enjoy, however, is waking up to a flooded kitchen. This morning marks the third time this week. Yes, I’m sitting here at my computer writing while a pile of towels soak up the worst flood of the week. Yes, we’ve had a plumber come. No, the fix didn’t work. Our landlord is a dentist by trade but believes he is also a) an electrician b) a plumber c) superman. He prefers to do all the fixing himself and last night he “fixed” the plumbing. Enter super flood this morning. As you can tell by now, Belgrade definitely has its perks and its….er… less than favorable moments.