Thursday, April 21, 2011

updating URL

I see some of my friends are coming here, now and then, to check for updates.

I'm considering changing the URL to a slightly less-aggressive

If suddenly you find this blog non-existent, try

Friday, April 8, 2011


Belgrade is a truly filthy city.

This post is probably useless with out pics.

most people drive cars that wouldn't be allowed on the road in the civilized world.  Smoke from cars blackens the facades of buildings.  Belgrade means "white city".  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Dark-grey city would be more accurate.  Belgrade has a population of about 2 million.  The air pollution is that of a city 10X its size.

Graffiti is everywhere, most of it some kind of fascistic stamp (speaking to an entirely different variety of filth). 

The main tourist information centre had "death to fags" written in front of it for about 8 months.  In Serbia "death to fags" written on a wall isn't particularly controversial.  After a 500-strong gay-pride parade walking around one block, thousands of thugs rampaged the city chanting "kill, kill, kill the fags" click here.  I digress.

There might be more to be said on this.

stay tuned.

"why didn't you tell me before"

All of Serbia has gone to the Basil Fawlty school of customer service.

There is deep confusion amongst servers as to who is serving whom in any sort of customer-service situation.

the situation I'll describe is very, very, very common.  I try to take it in stride.  I've formulated all sorts of clever responses.  I've practised them in front of the mirror.  But, for some reason, whenever it happens, it surprises me.  I fill with rage and imagine many violent things I probably shouldn't describe here.

some variation on this:

me:  May I please have such-and-such?
....  oh...  wait a moment.  I'd like this too.

server:  (angrily) WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME BEFORE!?

Could you imagine such a scenario at a North American bank?  (or anywhere, really).

"I'd like to change this $1000 into local currency"
-she reaches for a stack of $50 bills.

me: oh,  could you please give me 20s?


Seriously...  This happens 3 times a week:  Bankers, waiters, store clerks, everyone!