There is a mixed blessing about staying behind in the White City during August. The streets are empty if you wish to drive your car, but often there is no one waiting for you at your destination. There are fewer people in lines in the supermarket, but much of what you need to buy will not be stocked until September.
Given the events in Belgrade of the last couple of weeks - the seemingly random attacks, the last-minute suppression of the gay parade - it does not seem a time to speak out and be heard. We should all stop and consider what we have allowed to happen here. I had not planned on writing on this subject as it has been thoroughly talked about, but I happened to find this in my reading, which I thought might be relevant.
As we move steadily toward February 14th, the commercial behemoth which is Valentine's Day & Co. is busily cranking out the obligatory floral bouquets, chocolates, greeting cards, and fuzzy-heart pillows which are required purchasing for this most arbitrary of holidays. Dan Zaljubljenih d.o.o. is a relatively foreign thing in Serbia, and only relatively observed, but Big Advertising is still using it as much as they can.
With the spate of price increases here and there of excises and specific taxes which was landed on our collective heads in Serbia this week - cigarettes, bus tickets, fuel, heating costs, and VAT which affects almost everything else - the government is showing us that they are fresh out of fresh ideas.
I used to remember phone numbers. I also remembered birthdays, street addresses, spelling, and peoples' names (although I was NEVER very good at that). Now I no longer need to remember. My phone holds ALL the phone numbers to which I have ever been exposed. It remembers for me. Street addresses are not nearly as relevant as email addresses - and email addresses are on their way to being completely supplanted by IM, Facebook, or chat identities.