This is a blog about my travels. My "regular" life is much too boring to bother blogging about.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Belgrade Day 3

This city is absolutely FRANTIC, and it may just be impossible to avoid getting caught up in the madness. I partied last night until 9 AM and I didn't even mean to. I finally got my clothes back at 9 PM, and to celebrate I went immediately on walkabout (I had been cooped up in the hostel all day waiting for my luggage). I got back to the hostel at about 12:30 AM, and I was all set to go to bed, I wanted to wake up early and make a day trip to Novi Sad or Subotica or somewhere. I thought that by coming back so late, I would avoid outgoing partygoers. Well, nobody in Belgrade goes out before midnight, and things don't really heat up until 2 or 3 AM. So the partygoers were still at the hostel and convinced me to go out. What's the harm in a few beers?

A few beers is never just a few beers in Belgrade; the city just sucks you in. We ended up back at the Sava River, on a floating bar. It was a turbopop bar. Turbopop is a form of Serbian popular music that's basically souped-up versions of old songs, with synths and drum machines replacing traditional instrumentation. Turbopop basically sounds exactly like Greek music from the same era, just sung in Serbian and with a slightly different sound (i.e. synths instead of acoustic instrumentation). But the rhythms are the same, the timber and style of singing is exactly the same. Walking into that bar (we were definitely the only non-Serbs there) was like walking into a Greek wedding. So I stayed there until close and danced and danced and introduced myself to various Serbs (who of course liked me because I'm Greek and bought me slivovice) and sweated. In recent years, certain Serbian DJs have started remixing old turbopop songs; I started listening to this "neo-turbopop" about a year ago and I absolutely love it. The band actually played a few songs that I knew and could sing along with (well as much as one can sing along with lyrics in a language they can't speak). The Serbs at the club was pretty thunderstruck that I knew Serbian songs; they thought I was a madman. So more drinks were bought on my behalf.

At closing time (6 AM), I wandered out of there and promptly made the acquaintance of a Serbian-Australian and his Serbian cousin who had all sorts of crazy tattoos on his arm and was a complete lunatic. I chatted with them for a while and before I knew it, it was 8:30 AM. Oh shit. Time to go home.

If I don't leave Belgrade soon, it's going to kill me.


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