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Srbija 2020

Nicholas Comrie

The Serbian Angle-Poised Lamp

Serbs love to interrogate. Don’t get me wrong it is of the kindest possible sort, but interrogation nonetheless. I have been ‘interrogated’ by Serbs on numerous occasions but there is some things that always seem to crop up. There are a whole range of questions I have been asked, but sprinkled liberally through every cross-examination are the same four questions that seem to pop up time and again.  

Brits Abroad – My shameful countrymen

I never cease to be embarrassed by the behaviour of my fellow countrymen abroad. Unlike our continental counter-parts who cultivate an image of sophistication, friendliness or open-mindedness whilst abroad, our cultural ambassadors prefer to project an image of the beer-swilling, lobster-red, football hooligan variety. What is it about us Brits (or at least some of us) that we feel it necessary to make such a shameful display of ourselves whilst on holiday? 

Our Impressionable (Hitler) Youth

Wandering home the other night with my girlfriend I was confronted by a somewhat troubled lad. Around eighteen years of age he had decided to accost my girlfriend and I as we made our way through the underpass at Zeleni Venac. I am used to pleas for money or assistance (both here and in England) and I am also fairly used to the occasional threat of violence (more so in England), but what occurred fit into neither of the above categories. He had apparently been attracted by my un-Serbian looks, which despite my best efforts these last few years I have failed to mask, and enquired, in Serbian, as to where I was from. 

Please be polite, thank you

Sitting at a house party the other night I found myself apologising away for various apparent ‘short-comings’ on my part. The Serbian girl that I had been talking to then turned to me and asked me why I was apologising if I had done nothing wrong. She explained to me that in Serbia people only apologise when they do things wrong. Not so in England, as I immediately caught myself apologising for apologising too much.

Graffiti - A Positive?

When I was thinking about how Serbia goes about projecting its world image, at events such as the European Water Polo Championships, I couldn’t help thinking about the graffiti that greeted me last time I went to Beogradska Arena. Climbing the steps that led to the arena I was greeted by a two metre high ‘kurac’ or cock sprayed by an imaginative Belgrade artist. 

Iraq: Let’s Bury the Casualties

Has anyone noticed that Iraq seems to have fallen off the agenda recently. I hadn’t seen much on Iraq for a while and as an English voter was concerned where it had disappeared to. This article is my response to Iraq’s apparent fall from media grace: 

Long in tooth, sharp in elbow

As the New Kid on the Blog I have been wracking my brains about how I should begin. It’s difficult to know where to start so I’ve opted to dive in with some everyday experiences and proceed from there. And one of my most regular Belgrade experiences seems to be an ongoing and bitterly disputed battle with octogenarian bus passengers.  

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