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Srbija 2020

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

‘I imagine that you must like this weather’ Serbs keep telling me, each and every time it decides to piss it down. ‘Yes, I love being soaked, don’t we all?’ I feel like replying, but instead just nod doggedly and continue the pretence that us English are only ever happy under cloudy skies. The problem is, we aren’t, and when it comes to just how wet London is, it isn’t half as bad as Belgraders are led to believe.

The English, like Serbs, don’t really like rain; but unlike our Balkan counterparts, we aren’t terrified by it. We may well be forced into accepting this fate by living on ‘the island’, but I never cease to be amazed at the fear with which Serbs hold these tiny drops of water that fall from the sky. Serbs are terrified of the stuff and seem to believe that anywhere it rains must be a hellish place indeed. And whenever I mention London, there is always the ubiquitous question, and underlying fear, regarding the capital’s nightmarish rain.

The thing is that it doesn’t rain in London as much as everyone is lead to believe, and it is about time the British tourist board advertised the fact. Serbs seem to think that it is an everyday, torrential downpour kind of occurrence and I imagine that this is a belief shared by many people around the world. What with that and ‘the fog’ it is hard to imagine why anyone would want to go to London. But to me, it’s as if it is some kind of conspiracy emanating from across the English Channel (or La Manche); Parisian power-brokers hoping to snatch some of London’s visitors. And Serbs, along with the La Manche line, have fallen for it hook, line and sinker.

But don’t believe them. It’s a wicked, unfounded conspiracy. It rains more in Dallas and twice as much in Tokyo and yet you never hear people consoling Texans about the rain. And what would you say to someone from Tokyo? ‘You really must have it bad mate. Twice as much as London’? But for some strange reason Tokyo doesn’t have a reputation for rain that London does. And what about Belgrade? With its last few days of ‘biblical rain’, I am beginning to wonder if it might rain here as much as London. Global warming has achieved stranger things. It would be ironic, and would provide me with the perfect come-back to ‘Do you like the weather?’ ‘Yeah not bad, but you can’t expect better here in Belgrade.’

‘…but I’m never gonna stop the rain by complaining’

As of London, it is one of

As of London, it is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world as long as one doesn’t decide to become a British citizen. I just hope that Belgrade will never have yet another “hard rain” over the roofs.


Please note there is no rain in London as before. I think the rain had enough of London and moved to Belgrade to claim Serbian citizenship. Global warming has more effect on us than we care to admit.

It never rains in southern California

Stay cool, Nicholas, and enjoy the ride. Some of us here in Serbia have been waiting too long for this little watering, especially due to the possible difficulties in food/electricity supply sectors. And the long, hot summer is still in front of us, without Sundance Kid to get any cavalry from behind.
I beleive I understand your story regarding the rain: we've lived in Putney, London SW2, beautiful court...
We had quite a problem taking kids to school during June '92-persistant showers, nobody liked them, and I still remember coming home late from the office in my raincoat, passing by my English neighbours in bikinis trying to catch even the slightest ray of Sun.


The thing is that it doesn’t rain in London as much as everyone is lead to believe...

Empirically, it seems not to be wrong. Let's compare average precipitation values for London and Belgrade, for this occasion, in May and June only: (source: EuroWeather)

1) London - May:52mm; June:48mm
2) Belgrade - May:73mm; June:84mm

NB: Annual average for London is 622mm, while Belgrade's tends to be higher in total amount: 658mm. By deducting at least 150mm of snow falls in winter, Belgrade earns 508mm of "pure" raindrops per annum.

PS: A critic could object the mentioned:
- Climate has changed (significantly).
Yes, it certainly has. Let's prepare both our umbrellas and UV-proof sunglasses :))

Oh crap

I hoped the Global Warming would at least give us more sunshine, but now we have more rain than before? Yech. At least the autumn is now like a real spring.

Anyway, I've always thought that rainy cloudy London was more of a stereotype than a reality. I guess I was right.

And yeah, I really hate rain. Not that I'm scared of getting wet, I actually kinda like it, but it's just that the city looks so horribly depressing.

I am singing in the rain :)

Well, when you watch Wimbledon every year, and see all the rain every year, of course you beleive that London is one wet city.


I spent 6 weeks in london without needing an umbrella at all...

Il pleure dans mon coeur comme il pleut sur la ville

I've heard that lot of bad PR about London's weather (especially fog) is from the times when people used coal for heating.

I've been living in Colchester (Essex) for almost 2 years and I find the weather here really mild and pleasant - not really of Mediterranean type - but after 5 years in Aalborg, Denmark, this is a visible improvement.

However - we'll move to Glasgow in July, and I've heard a lot of horror stories about the Glaswegian microclimate. Irish people say: It never rains in the pub - but still - a couple of sunny days here and there can warm one's heart... we'll see... hope dies last...

Il pleuvait sans cesse sur Brest ce jour-là

Et tu marchais souriante
Epanouie ravie ruisselante
Sous la pluie...


Mais la vie sépare ceux qui s'aiment
Tout doucement, sans faire de bruit
Et la mer efface sur le sable
Les pas des amants désunis

Loving rain

Believe it or not I am a born Belgradien and I am only happy when it rains. Truly happy. I love storms, thunders and lightnings and I hate sun and clear blue sky.This winter was very worm and sunny, so I was miserable. Now I have my five days of happiness and I intend to enjoy it. Isn't rain so much more romantic?

i'm only happy

i'm only happy when it rains - cause her name is modesty :)

i think the dutch are the most homesick when in belgrade and it starts to rain...

Amen to that!

I'm a true rainophile myself. Very disappointed to read that London is not the perfect city I thought it was... Oh well.

day may niijaay..

Rain..I love it!
At the age of 4 to 7 (approx.), every time it rained I used to rush, rush, rush to the balcony, crouch next to the door and stay there as though hypnotised, eyes transfixed into the sky.."You have to come in and eat your dinner!"..."Not now..later..Now, I have to watch the rain..." :-)

"as Belgraders are led to

"as Belgraders are led to believe" "as everyone is lead to believe" - repeated twice in short sequence ... poor writing style

as for rain, we dont mind rain in serbia. storm rain is even loved by many people. but what is so bad about england is that there is sometimes a sequence of several days of persistant, petty rain, soo terribly dull... this might explain english mentality and apparent calm

pre che biti da je - poor understanding

ponavljanje teksta (tj. pojedinih rechi) je poznat i priznat nachin da se misao podvuche. Underline bez crte.
poznato mnogima, ali ne svima.

u ovom slucaju ne radi se o

u ovom slucaju ne radi se o naglasavanju, sto je vrlo lako videti. radi se o propustu autora (povrsnost se vidi i po spelingu)

Terribly sorry old chap

I will have to make sure that I run all future pieces past you. ;)

Well spotted on the rain

Well spotted on the rain thing Nicholas but I'd say its sometimes worse that you stated. In Serbia some elderly women have a habit of telling their kids not to go out today 'as it is raining'. Heaven forbid!

Think that no consversation about the weather can go by without mentioning that we in Serbia are actually experiencing a drought at the moment due to lack of rainfall in the last couple of years. Thus the weather of the last few days is not only welcome, but the exception rather than the rule in recent years.

As for the smog thats something of a relic of yesteryear, once upon a time people in Serbia regularly spoke (to those living in England) of Londons fog / smog, these days not so much.

There is a stat that is rather surprising for people who havent spent much time in London or Paris. Average rainfall is higher in Paris than London. Yeah, Eurodisney was such a clever idea....

Maybe they should try

Maybe they should try Manchester. Every bloody year, come September the clouds move in.