Diary of a British woman in Belgrade - DAY 21 & 22

My husband who is a native Serb, our 10 year old son and I have moved from England to Belgrade for 8 months. This is day 20 & 21 of our stay.

DAY 21

Knez Mihailo (Prince Michael) in 'Trg Republike' (Republic Square)

Knez Mihailo (Prince Michael) in 'Trg Republike' (Republic Square)

After we dropped our son at his Serbian school, Dragan and I went to the ‘pijac’ (green market) and bought some dried red peppers in a little bundle. Dragan soaked the peppers in water to prepare them so that he could make dried stuffed red peppers for lunch. They were really delicious. [1]

I had my second Serbian language lesson this afternoon. I caught the bus ‘to the horse’, which is actually a statue of ‘Knez Mihailo’ (Prince Michael) [2] astride his horse in ‘Trg Republike’ (Republic Square) [3]. This is a famous meeting place in the city centre and Dragan would often say to his friends ‘vidimo se kod konja’ (meet you at the horse!) when he lived in Belgrade back in the day. Our family has adopted the phrase and we have met at the ‘horse’ many times now!

Prince Michael’s statue is in a very beautiful part of the city, next to the National Theatre and close to the main pedestrianised street, bearing his name. The street leads to one of the main attractions in Belgrade, ‘Kalemegdan’ Fortress [4]. The fortress provides a beautiful view of the confluence of the two rivers, the Sava and the Danube, meeting just below ‘Pobednik’ (the Victor Monument, completed in 1928) [5]. 

Narodno Pozorište, (National Theatre) on the right

Narodno Pozorište, (National Theatre) on the right

It’s getting chilly here now, and I regretted not bringing a hat for the walk from 'Trg Republike' to my lesson. But, when I arrived I instantly regretted wearing a thick fleece and winter jacket – it was so hot in the building! This is very typical.

The Serbian lessons are excellent. One of the most difficult things about Serbian is that the endings of words change for so many different reasons! Even names can change. When Dragan and I were first married, I was very hurt when he appeared to be ignoring me, when I was calling him: "Dragan, Dragan!" I wasn’t calling him correctly, so he just didn’t register it. I needed to say ‘Dragane’ (pronounced Draganay). This ending is added to a name when you want to attract the person's attention.

Dragan and Aleks walked all the way into the centre to meet me after my class. It was dark and the Christmas lights looked beautiful. Aleks was suddenly ravenously hungry, so we stopped at one of the numerous fast food outlets for a slice of pizza each. We carried on with our trek home, passing Hotel Moskva when Aleks piped up again, ‘I’m starving!’ Next stop at the big yellow M for a Big Mac and a coffee for Mum and Dad. OK so he must have been full, but no, we were nearly home when he was hungry again. This time we stopped at a ‘Pekara’ (bakery) and he had a ‘slani štapić’ (a large breadstick) [6]. At that point we drew the line on food for the day.

Dragan & Aleks in central Belgrade

Dragan & Aleks in central Belgrade

[1] http://dolcefooda.blogspot.rs/2012/04/stuffed-dried-red-peppers-and-trip-to.html

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihailo_Obrenovi%C4%87

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihailo_Obrenovi%C4%87

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgrade_Fortress

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pobednik

[6] Can you find slani štapić on this webpage! http://www.pekara30.rs/meni-slano-pecivo.php#prettyPhoto 

DAY 22

The day was murky and damp when we dropped Aleks at school, but we didn’t let that put us for our early morning run in the park. The lawyer was running this morning and he said that enjoyed running in the recent NYC marathon! On the way round the circuit, I was practising my possessive pronouns in Serbian with Dragan.

Lunch, a bit of violin practise and then Aleks and I went to Vero, the supermarket. Despite me bringing my own bags to carry the shopping home, the cashier was very helpful and insisted on putting everything in plastic bags before I could get them into my re-useable bags.

Aleks has discovered drawing! He is chuffed to bits. He uses an online site that shows him, step by step, how to draw dragons. They are good.