Snow, Tram Riding & Dancing. Diary of a British woman in Belgrade

My husband, who is a native Serb, our 10 year old son and I are spending 8 months in Belgrade, having moved from England. This is day 39 & 40

 View from our window!

View from our window!

DAY 39

Dragan kept up tradition and went to the 'pijac' (green market) with Ljuba his ‘Kum’ to buy lots of goodies. Dragan is fasting and he bought some 'azuki pasulj' (aduki beans), now known in our house as 'Suzuki' beans.

At about 9pm it started snowing.

DAY 40

We woke up to a beautiful snowy landscape. Our view is superb over the park and we now have our very own snow covered Christmas trees. Aleks was very excited but still unwell, so he was a bit like the kid in the Secret Garden and couldn’t go and play in the snow.

I got up and wrapped up super quick. My whole life is a photo opportunity these days and I asked Dragan to take a photo of me in the park from the window. I was determined to beat the dog walkers and make the first footprints! The park and cemeteries near our flat were spectacular.

 Ali and her footprints in the park

Ali and her footprints in the park

Dragan went to church and Aleks and I messed about at home in the morning. I actually put pencil to paper today and sketched the snowy scene outside our window. I will post the sketch soon.

Later that day, Daniela and I caught a tram to 'Beogradski Sajam' (Belgrade Fair/Exhibition Centre) [1] to visit an International Charity Bazaar. Many countries were represented, selling trinkets, textiles and hot food. I managed to find a Cornish Pasty [2] to my surprise. Just kidding, it was actually a delicious Russian pie with potato and mushrooms.

There were also some superb Serbian Folk Dancers, clearly professional, wearing short silky skirts, with just a nod to traditional costume. The men wore sleeveless jackets in red and black.

I am such a kid, I loved the tram ride, so atmospheric and the way it shunts and shuffles round the corners is like being on a ride at the fair. Ok, so it was Sunday and very quiet – a different story to travelling at rush-hour when you and half of Belgrade are trying to get home from work.

 Tram window

Tram window

The rickety old tram trundled around Slavija [3] roundabout on the way back, which is in the process of having a major face-lift and we also passed by some kids throwing snowballs in the park. Some trams in Belgrade are very modern, but I was pleased to be travelling on an old one.

It snowed all day and I ended up with an ice-cream headache again. I chatted with my sister on the phone and she suggested a ‘Julie Christie’ hat, like the one the actress wore in the film Dr Zhivago. I think I need one, they make perfect sense now!

As a kid I remember watching a cartoon from Yugoslavia called ‘Professor Balthazar’ [4] and Dragan found some DVDs for Aleks to watch when Aleks was little. The cartoons are pure genius. I remember a lovely one about a tram driver. Here’s a link but I couldn’t find it in Serbian or English. I think it's in Swedish? [5]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgrade_Fair 

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasty pasties are a traditional pie from the SW region of England where we live.

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavija_Square 

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

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubvx7UoYdes&list=PLECcS1S9STSAjjeSrQdBxX2UMnZXwNhXs&index=5