Sunday, March 12, 2006

In praise of... Serbia

With the passing of Slobodan Milosevic in the Hague, I thought I'd chip in my two dinarsworth on Serbia.

I passed through in the spring of 2004, on my way down the Danube to China.

Here is Novi Sad, with the Danube bridge bombed out by Nato in '99.

Next day, I followed a sign saying "Eggs for Sale". (The sign, not me.) At the end of the track was this bloke, who said Sorry we're clean out of eggs mate, but you can stay the night if you like.

He told me how he had watched the Nato bombardment of Belgrade from his farmhouse on a hill above the city.

I apologised and said that not only had I been Against, but that I had even Written A Letter.

And he said, Don't worry, it was the best fireworks display we've had in years round here. We fooded and beered and life was good.

Down the road in Indija, I sat on a high-street bench eating my breakfast sarnies - and this popcorn vendor wandered over and gave me a huge bag of popcorn and enough sunflower seeds to last till Russia - which they did.

Good bloke.

Next town along, a little kid appeared out of nowhere, thrust a tin of 7-Up (or Zup, as Granny thinks it's called) into my hands, disappearing as quickly as he had appeared.

And the Danube gorges in Serbia are gorge-ous.

Top country, top people. Knock the late Slobo if you wish, but don't drag the rest of the country down with him.

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