Serbia, with love.

Bacsalmas, Hungary to Bajmok, Serbia. All research told us the border was closed, research conducted on line, once already in Bacsalmas. Thanks to Google translate and our welcoming bar tender we discovered it should be open and tried our luck. We are getting used to being turned away by raging rivers and prejudice road signs at major junctions. The unknown and detours not a problem.
Our first check since producing our passports upon leaving the UK, the Hungarian and then, Serbian guards briefly inspected our British passports, they were stamped and with a friendly wink, we were sent on our way…..chased by the first 2 dogs of the journey that were barking out our heals, not fenced in, into Serbia.
Our first village and beyond. Thumbs up, even thumbs from the police with whom omniscient Google, promised corruption and engaged our fear. Cheers and calls of bravo, whole school groups waving, even teenagers, passing motorists, words I don’t understand but said with a smile. This was great for our ego and as we speed past, invigorated, we felt like athletes, with my “beer muscle” wobbling gently about my middle.
Only 2 short days in Serbia and I have been successfully seduced. Small towns and villages, like a step back in time.
Farmers no longer in air conditioned tractor and harvester cabins, tractors a third the size, 3 times as rusty, small crops, mostly tended by hand, mowers replaced by scythes. Horse drawn carts with red corn, with grass, beautiful rusting creaking bicycles, rusty “yugo’s”, a bake lite phone in our rusty pipe filled hotel. Crumbling facades to buildings in tree and garden spaces, cafes, restaurants, queues for ATM’s and mini markets. People are outside and life is buzzing.
Day 2 after night in Vrbas, my hands began to numb and I stated a rest required in the next town. Li suggested resting hands around a beer, “pivo effect” as my speed increased, I almost missed the man blocking our path in the centre of the road….a man, arms outstretched, blocking our path, our path……with……beer!
Attila…..we sat, intelligent, interesting conversation, Serbian matriarchy!…and would have enjoyed sitting upon the grass all day if the rain, and soon after, torrents, thunder did not disrupt our sojourn.
Now in the city of Novi Sad, no less friendly than the rural areas, I am slightly stunned by it all, very content, very full, very very welcome. Serbia with love, I may very , very well not leave you. X


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