Over the past days, all I am reading about is a supposed vigilante who haunts Bulevar Revolucije and metes out justice against the Parking Offenders along that Belgrade thoroughfare. According to various blogs, internet forums, and RTS television reporters, he cruises down the street in a Vengeance Mobile (this is my name for it) and spray-paints the rows of double parked cars and those brilliant drivers who park in the middle of the street.
When a driver struggles and attempts to parallel park five times on a busy Belgrade street, he may also wave to the accumulated traffic. As if to say, "Thanks for being patient and not killing me."
Nearly exactly a year ago, at the tipping point between early- and mid-December, I forgot to go Christmas shopping. There must have been something good on TV.
Every year, faced with the prospect of engaging in pitched battle with my fellow shoppers throughout the month of December, I seem to make the resolution to do all the shopping in July, thus freeing myself from active duty and sparing myself more bloodshed.
Of those topics, four are about the traffic on the highways which has become a nightmare IN ANTICIPATION of the much hyped road works. [Kosovo] Seven of the topics relate to government – but how boring is that? [Kosovo] Our new government has not triggered the much anticipated scandal-mongering spree from our glorious Yellow Press yet, and far be it for me to change the diapers of that particular tar baby. [Kosovo]
The ugly truth is that I have been here for nearly a decade and communicate like a Balinese coconut-picker landed suddenly in the middle of a Parisian dinner party. In the court of Louis XVI.
Of a Tuesday afternoon.
Ten years ago, on 9/11, I was in Paris. I was sorting out lots of sportswear overstock and trying to place it enticingly in front of my client's eyes. My client's eyes, however, were glued to the television. I was annoyed. I had just arrived from Rome (he from Belgrade) the night before, we had one day to make this deal, and he was watching TV. I grumbled.
"Something happened in New York," he said.
Ever, however, is way too long. There are not any evers in life. Ever belongs to the church, to mythology, to fairy tales. Our world, the real and tangible and smokable world, is about increments of time. Time since my last cigarette. Time before my last cigarette. Time it takes to smoke a cigarette. Time I need to suck on my electronic cigarette to make up for the time it took to smoke my last cigarette.
For reasons of confidentiality, I am unable to reveal the whereabouts of The Home. Suffice to say that it is a rather large and stately affair ensconced in a semi-rural area, detached from the rest of the world, where the residents live out normal lives far from the prying eyes and fingers of fans, paparazzi, and prosecutorial investigators.
And it has a very nice sound system, too. Oldies mostly.