Diary of a British woman in Belgrade - DAY 31, 32 & 33

 Belgrade linocut, by Ali Savic [3]

Belgrade linocut, by Ali Savic [3]

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 31, 32 & 33 of our stay.

DAY 31

Our lives have found a rhythm and everything flowed today. Aleks was at school, Dragan and I went for a run, and later on he went to the university. Aleks had a violin lesson via Skype and I wrote my blog!

DAY 32

Dragan and Ljuba enjoyed a Saturday morning trip to the ‘pijac’ (green market) and came back with bags full of goodies, including ‘šljiva‘ (sun-dried plums) and ‘boranija’ (yellow runner beans).

It was a cool but sunny day so later on we walked through 'Novo Groblje', the graveyard and up the hill to ‘Zvezdarska Šuma’ (Zvezdara Forest)­. I needed some nature, now that we’re city slickers. This forest is about 2 miles from the city centre, so you wouldn’t expect to see much wildlife. Serbia is one of the most bio diverse countries in Europe so I was not in the least surprised to see a squirel, a woodpecker, lots of small birds and a medium sized bird I could not identify. There were also quite a few stray dogs!

The squirell [1] was truly lovely, with a black coat and very tufty ears. We heard the woodpecker before we spotted it high up in the trees.

Quick pitstop at home before we set off by car for Ikea. This is the new cathedral I think! We made Aleks a promise that if he attended school for 4 weeks in Serbia we would buy him a big cuddly shark! (’ajkula’ in Serbian). The shark isn’t very fierce and has been christened ’Doughnut’! By the way, Aleks is really enjoying school. I'm not sure what he will want in another 4 weeks!

We met some friends later and strolled through the city centre before stopping at a cafe called ’Ferdinand’ for ’knedle’ (dumplings). Dumplings sound Asian I know, but no, these are a Serbian speciality. Round balls of a flour and potato dough encircle different sweet fillings. I had chocolate and ’višnja’ (sour cherry). The dumpling are steamed and then coated in nuts or breadcrumbs. [2] Ferdinand comes recommended!

[1] http://www.photogeza.com/mammals/rodents/slides/200_red_squirrel.html

[2] https://www.facebook.com/ferdinandknedle/ 

DAY 33

Today was my birthday so we ordered a huge pizza from a takeaway called ‘Pizza Hit’ to share at Grandma’s for lunch and we also popped some food in her fridge. She is really beginning to understand my Serbian. My accent is so strong apparently that it was very difficult for her to understand a word initially. We had a short conversation in Serbian, that’s progress. After lunch this old lady fell (me!) asleep in front of the TV! Grandma did the washing up and she’s 85.

Next stop, our sister-in-law – we took 'Torta' (Serbian layered cake) with us, which went down well. Aleks’ grown up cousins were both there too.

We then went to visit a folk fiddle performer/teacher who has had many appearances on Serbian TV. The plan is for Aleks to learn how to play some Serbian folk music. He learnt a very sweet tune today and will have a lesson next week.

Dragan made my favourite Serbian dish today, ‘boranija’ (yellow string beans in sour cream). Serbian yellow runner beans are delicate and tasty. To make boranija, you fry onion, garlic and the sliced beans in oil, then add some water and salt and simmer until soft. A roux made with milk is added along with ‘pavlaka’ (sour cream) and then simmer until the sauce has thickened. Delish.

Then Ljuba and Daniela popped round with a present and we ate yet more cake!

Dragan really spoiled me today. 

[3] This print has now sold out. To see more of my prints online, you can also visit my Etsy shop,

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AliSavicPRINTS