On sale in Aisle 7.
The mystery is that I no longer know where I am when I go to the supermarket in Belgrade. Today, for example, I started out list-in-handed on a journey to IDEA in New Belgrade. I had received in the post a special Happy Birthday coupon for a 10% discount (on almost everything except what I wanted to buy I found in the fine print).
Business is booming for the Prognosticators of Doom these days. All I am hearing from all sides is that the End is Near, speeches about the Demise of Consumerism abound, and that we are sliding into a time of feudal lords, manor houses, indentured servitude and mediaeval bartering.
None of the principle actors have arrived yet on the set, nor has the director - citing some unease about getting paid for half of it in 20 years - but the producers (Sheik Ali Xander & Associates) have so far put on a spectacle worthy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
As soon as the announcement came last month that foreigners were wanted in the new flip-flopped Serbian government, I was on alert. Surely the call would come from Aleksandar Vučić asking me to take over a few portfolios. Not too many, enough to keep me occupied a couple days a week.
But the call never came. I should get my phone serviced.
Speaking at Takovo, celebrating the 2nd Serbian Uprising (where they actually managed a good slap at Ali Pasha, leaving the Ottoman Turks to slowly lose interest and drift home 63 years later), the Deputy Prime Minister said:
There are times when we accumulate so much information a subject that it must needs burst forth and splat onto the page like squashed blueberry. The following is not a public service announcement or message. It is just overspill.
[Moment of silent contemplation]
A scientist, chosen by the same gang that strong-armed Galileo into backsies, that poo-pooed Copernicus, and that burned Giordano Bruno for heresy in the middle of Campo dei Fiori. As a class, these are people who do not get along very well with scientists. But now...
While committed to helping develop the economic capacities of Serbia, the Adviser leaves most of these key messages as implied, focusing instead on his main areas of expertise and topics of specific interest to him in his new role.