Monday, April 30, 2012

flying to/from Belgrade

Flights to Belgrade anger me for 2 reasons.

1) it appears as though most people bathe in whatever free perfume they can get at the duty free.  There's an expression in Serbian:  "when free, even vinegar is sweet".  It appears as though this proverb holds true.  It's either that or every toilet-cleaner in Zurich is taking a few days off and going to put on some airs for their compatriots back home.

2) It astonishes me, every single time, to the point that it astonishes me that it astonishes me how child-like Serbs behave when the plane lands.

Look,  We're all going to be on the same bus to the airport terminal. We're all going to the same passport control.  We're all going to be waiting at the same luggage claim.  Do you really think that leaping up and trying to worm you way to the front of the plane is going to get you home faster than me who's sitting pretty?

That is all.


  1. LOL, i will never forget the first time I ever came to Serbia through London and took JAT airways from London>Serbia.

    When they said the plane was boarding everyone rushed the boarding gate, no line up, but like a bunch of retards. I was a teen then, and asked my dad WTF - he said Welcome to the Balkans son.

  2. [Warning, sorry, long rant ahead, but I really needed to share this and your post is asking for it.]
    Wow, the second part sadly reminds me of us Romanians (hello, neighbor). We're not just child-like, we're feral. Maybe it's the years of everything-deprivation in communism, with people lining up from the middle of the night to buy basics like milk, bread, etc - the Romanian mindset is that "if you don't get it first, someone else will", to the irrational point where "we're all going to be on the same bus to the airport terminal" is totally irrelevant - it's reflex, instinct.
    My only flights have been between Bucharest and Japan via Germany. The transition is amazingly well defined in terms of atmosphere. Romanian passengers are wildly desperate; Germans are rational; Japanese are wildly dedicated to their supreme goal of never ever inconveniencing fellow passengers in the slightest way. Oh, and their obsession with lines.
    I was in a Japanese train station - the train arrived, and I (knowing Japanese trains go as quick as they come) hastily took to boarding said train, only to have my (Japanese) boyfriend sternly point out that there's a line. Yes, the line was so artistically asymmetrical that I wasn't even aware of it, but above all, the simple truth is I didn't even stop to think there might be one - my Romanian reflex kicked in. "Romanian see, Romanian take."
    After Japan via Germany, landing back in Bucharest, I found myself shocked at how desperate we are ("desperate" is the word, not rude, inconsiderate, self-centered). I remembere a random man urging his wife: "Hey, it gets thinner that way, maybe we can squeeze ahead!" like they were trying to escape the sinking Titanic. (Oh. Did I mention? Our lines have "branches".) It can be astonishing or embarrassing but mostly it's very very SAD. (I actually believe my communist milk line theory.)
    I'm saying that may be true of Serbians too. They seem to be a lot like us, but while Serbians love Serbians and hate everyone else (including Romanians, what do you know?), Romanians pretty much just hate Romanians.