Pozdrav iz Beograda

(written Friday; posted when I found an internet connection)

I arrived on Thursday, after a more or less okay trip. Belgrade looks much the same, at least what can be seen of it through the fog. It looks like posting will be intermittent for a while -- we thought that we had resolved the question of internet connection in our palatial vračarska garsonjera, but in the meantime the building changed cable providers, which means we are back to step one. There are promises that this can be quickly and easily resolved.

From the first moment I began to encounter the things I like about Belgrade, which include:
Friends and family: Here they are. As it turns out, though, some of them have jobs for me to do.
Burek: This week about 93% of the people in Serbia will celebrate sv. Nikole, which is a "posna" slava (not a good thing), but as a side effect the bakeries have burek with mushrooms (a fantastically good thing).
Beogradski rokenrol: over the next two days at SKC, we have Partibrejkersi, Disciplina kičme, Obojeni program and much much more.
Beogradski radio: Every station, including the ones I don't like, has its individual character. Here is an idea for a društvena igra: look at the face of a taxi driver and try to guess what station is playing in the cab. Your guess is certain to be wrong.
People on the streets: There they are.
Of course, in addition to the things that I like, there are also other things. The first major success of the special prosecutor for war crimes, last year's Ovčara conviction, has been reversed by the Constitutional court. Last summer, when it seemed as though the far right might be returning to power, this sort of thing looked like a strategy of stretching out the cases until everybody could be pardoned; now that it seems like the upcoming elections will probably just bring a reshuffle of the balance of power between DSS and DS, it is less clear what the judges are trying to do (or prevent from happening). Maybe they would like the trials to last forever?

Politika announced today that it has placed on the web site of the Narodna biblioteka its issues from 1903 to 1941. Just 65 more years of digitizing, and it will be possible to read recent articles from the paper online as well, which every other major paper in the country offers.

On Sunday it is off to Niš. The fog, I might add, is gorgeous. I woke up this morning and looked out the window, and thought maybe someone had come in and closed the shades while I was sleeping.

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