STRANGECITY

Djukic-Dejanovic: SRS You’ve Been Bad Boys and Girls

In Uncategorized on 03/31/2009 at 16:58

Now go to your rooms and think about what you’ve done.

Sometimes there’s nothing you can do in this country but laugh and understand that the ever-present charade is part of the charm.

In today’s session of parliament, members of the radical party showed up wearing t-shirts boasting the face of Vojislav Seselj, who has been accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity by The Hague Tribunal and is also the president of their party. When the radicals refused to take their “assigned” seats, president of parliament, Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic, “lead them away” from the session and called a 15-minute break. Afterwords, she decided that the session just could not go on in such a manner and called the whole thing off.

While MPs in other countries at least pretend to be doing something meaningful while in session, Serbia’s MPs have decided that it’s just plain passe to pretend and have moved on to entertaining us as a circus should. It’s becoming ever more evident that public discourse isn’t concerned with political matters but which politician said what about another, and when that is the case, the honorable gentle men and women don’t attack each other’s politics, but go straight for below-the-belt insults. Moreover, today’s event is not the first or last of it’s kind, but only the latest proof that Serbia is nowhere near it’s path to the EU, but it hasn’t even started to pack it’s bags for the trip.

After all of that, I ask you, so what?

Yes, it is entirely depressing that the youth of this country is being held back by radicals in parliament and others in power who refuse to pass the laws necessary to get the country on the “white Schengen list”, among other things. It’s ridiculous that they have to stand in line like livestock to get a visa because this country’s image in the world has been entirely ruined by the previous generation, and even if they get one, after hours and days of being degraded by pretentious embassy workers, they wouldn’t have the money to go anywhere anyway because the country’s economy is stagnating. So, the country’s young people are stuck with no prospects, finishing university on an average of ten years, not working and living with their parents until they’re well into their 30s and probably in the same room as their siblings.

But, I wonder, if or when Serbia finally decides to become “civilized” and organized, hands over accused war criminals to The Hague, will it become just like every other European country? Will it lose the charm that draws and infatuates those who’ve lived in the West and come here to live and leave it all behind? Will that be a good thing?

But, those things aside, we are being well entertained, wouldn’t you say?

Now for another gem:

Some of the highlights from the gem:

Ja zbog tebe, ja zbog tebe ostavicu sve
ja bih s tobom, ja bih s tobom
ali nemas gde
ne

Ref.
Nemam nocas ja za hotel
samo, samo neku sicu
necu, dobar si u dusi
al necu, necu u jugicu
nisam, brate, ja za tante mante
volim luksuz, skupe varijante

In translation: She would you know what with him, but he’s got no money for a hotel and wants to in his Yugo. Tough though because she likes luxury and “expensive” things. However, if he had a BMW, it’d be an entirely different story.

A Change. Of Plan(s)?

In Uncategorized on 03/26/2009 at 19:50

There’s something about this country. I can’t explain it. There’s something about it.

There’s a charm to this haphazard, chaotic place. It’s woven into and in between everything. From the 40-year-old trolley’s that run on tracks which haven’t been fixed for ages, to the out-of-style milfs with cellulite, to the childish and shy way grown people check eachother out at clubs. It’s somewhere in the way my butcher greets me when I go to buy chicken with, “dobar dan komsinice,” refering to me as his neighbour and asthough we’d grown up and played together. But, mostly it’s in the way this place seems to keep going, functioning, with so little to work with and no want for anything more because, as I said, it all just works.

Here, you feel alive, because you’re part of something that’s alive, something that hasn’t yet forgotten how to live.

I want to stay in Serbia. I want to stay in Belgrade. The problem is that I haven’t yet been able to find gainful employment. Though I believe that things work in favor of what’s supposed to happen, I also believe that it’s not shameful to admit it that things haven’t been working the way they’re supposed to.

I may have to leave Serbia, though I said I never will.

This blog is no longer objective. This blog is no longer about only the city. This blog is Belgrade and me.

The Tube

In Uncategorized on 03/26/2009 at 18:01

I may have found the Belgrade club where everything just falls into place, including the people, the music and the atmosphere.

The tube has no pretensions of being as, let’s say, “classy” as it actually is.

The outside of the club on Dobracina street, in the city’s centre, is fairly discreet, and though there’s usually a line outside, you won’t be looked up and down and price-tagged before being “allowed” in. Another plus – the bouncers don’t look like gangsters/drug dealers.

Though I am generally weary of places I have to wait to get into, I did wait, because you just have to try new things sometimes, and you get tired of going to basement clubs. Also, God knows I’ve been to Plastic, and was allowed to jump to the front of the line only because the club manager heard crowd I was with speaking English, so, I’m not exactly ashamed of being price-tagged.

As we descended the stairs, we were quickly overcome by how truly relaxing the atmosphere was. Although what who considers relaxing is rather relative, I think most would agree with me.

The club was filled with a patronage that seemed to have fought with honor and survived the war of puberty with no complexes intact, and therefore had nothing to prove. The crowd was not flashy, they smiled, and all seemed to be having down-to-earth conversations.

However, it soon became clear that there was one thing missing that is present in most Belgrade clubs, which has recently started driving me more and more towards wanting to become a hermit. This is the Balkan phenomenon of spending more time staring at others than talking to or dancing with the people you are with. The tube is price-tag/x-ray-free.

On the night I visited the Tube, the club’s regular DJ Peppe was spinning. Peppe plays a strange mix of funk and electronica and has been a staple on the Belgrade club scene for decades. He started on the scene over 20 years ago with the Belgrade Funk Brigade.

His fan base calls themselves “Peppists” and religiously follow the DJ from club to club every weekend. I met two Peppists at the place, who told me that if I didn’t end up in love with Peppe by the end of the night, they would embarrass themselves by singing Womanizer by Britney Spears with full-on choreography from the music video.

The other regular DJs are Pookie and Coba, who both have as solid of bios as Peppe.

Peppe added to the strangely relaxing mix of the club, which, surprisingly, was also put together in an interesting, minimalistic way. Most of the club is done in a sort of black fabric, with only the long, but low, table/bar in the middle.

As I write about the Tube, I am reminded of a conversation I had recently about how difficult it is to find a place to go to where the club looks nice, the people are great, and the music is at least bearable. It is difficult, though I don’t know whether you’ll sympathize with my sentiment.

For me, the Tube is that place. Everything fell into place and I, yes I, agreed with the look, people, and music of the place.

The only complaint I had about the Tube is that the drinks are a bit on the pricy side, with the average mixed drink going for 500 dinars.

That aside, I would recommend you check out the place, if for no other reason than to see whether out tastes coincide.

The Tube
Dobracina 12

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