Monday, June 10, 2013

A Taxonomy of Foreigners in Belgrade:

95% of long-term foreigners in Belgrade fall into two basic categories- Losers and Schmucks.
(embassy staff excluded)


Male schmucks are guys who have followed their typically-much-more-attractive-than-they-would-typically get girlfriends to Serbia.  Pretty much sums it up. Most of them do some sort of minor online thing - website freelancing or selling stuff on ebay.

Female schmucks (less common than the male variety), tend to be older who met and married outside of Serbia and followed their husbands to Serbia.  This move is usually explained as a function of cheaper childcare, but this explanation doesn't withstand scrutiny.  (why move somewhere to save $800/month and then earn $400/month instead of a normal salary abroad).  Current theory is these men they married are domineering momma's boys who let their parents guilt them into returning.


The Losers all have some sort of great calamity or catastrophe that they are running from back home.  Divorce, bankruptcy, death of a loved one, career failure, mid life crisis -  personal disaster of some kind.

I think many of them like to surround themselves with misery in order to make theirs seem less miserable.  Many of these people become hard-core Serbian nationalists that you wouldn't find in the most hard-core Serbian church basement or nationalist kafana.  I must admit to indulging in a little schadenfreude when reading about one of them ( getting bashed by Serbian thugs for rollerblading (ie, being a faggot).

Perhaps a kind of feedback-loop happens.  Perhaps The Losers are happy to tell the Serbs who expectantly ask them "how do you like Serbia" what they want to hear.  Then they get lots of friends.  Then they forget their problems.  I have noticed that The Losers tend to have more stidently nationalistic friends than average.


  1. oh.... I forgot the international NGO douchebags - the ones that tell you with a straight face that they give countries "democracy hugs". They're mostly just silly kids who stay for less than a year anyway.

  2. "I must admit to indulging in a little schadenfreude when reading about one of them ( getting bashed by Serbian thugs for rollerblading (ie, being a faggot)."

    I have a strong persistent suspicion (and right from the beginning) that he made up that attack - made it up to get more money/support. And he DID get exactly that. He had meetings and interviews on B92 and elsewhere because of it. The mayor of Belgrade, suddenly after that "attack", said now his website will be supported. All because Serbs felt sorry for him and were guilted by it. I don't believe even drunk Serbs just go up to a stranger and attack them during that day (and if so it would be likely be witnessed). The other cases were hard core thuggish Serbian football fans going after foreign (French) fans before and upcoming game, or fighting in club/bars with American marines/military or other alcohol-fueled young(er) foreign men over girls/arguments. There was also a crazy knife-wielding attacker showing up at the Belgrade Beer Fest and another Belgrade event but he was finally caught and he wasn't from Belgrade but a city further south.
    There's no witnesses to the attack on "ambassador" - except, he claims, his young daughter. But she is always under his thumb: she wouldn't say or argue any different and that's if she even knows, catches or pays attention to what all he's saying regarding it. Also, there were no signs of injury or hospitalization on him, were there?
    A few times a year he starts complaining about money troubles and his bills and how he isn't being supported properly. He doesn't have an income, but lives off his savings he brought with him (which may be gone by now) and only recently a little bit of advertising on his blog. He relies on donations.
    I believe his claim of being attacked got him extra attention which has now led to extra money and support (and I guess that includes long term support of his blog). So you might be basking up in the wrong tree regarding schadenfreude, and instead he tricked Serbs (but only out of a bit of desperation as I do believe he is pro-Serb) and is now being rewarded. It worked.

    However, I must say that I generally do like him and his site. If he gets the diaspora Serbs to fork it over then it actually is a good thing, as it brings money into Serbia. I don't think he is diverting any money which would otherwise be sent to poor Serbs, but instead getting them to spend what they wouldn't, or to send extra money.

    He is apparently now getting a bit of tax money too if the city of Belgrade is supporting his site, but I think it's worth it as the site is by and large informative and promotive of Serbs/Serbia.

    1. Ha! Very interesting. I think you are right. Was it on Studentski Trg that he was supposedly attacked? That does seems unlikely, now that you mention it.

      I'm not sure how "informative" the site it. It's largely either links to random Americans' blogs, astonished at how much hamburger you can get in Serbia for $1, or some "Kosovo is Serbia" bullshit (never any argument, just emotional bleating).

      Not sure how much it "promotes" Serbia ether. Mostly it makes diaspora Serbs happy that "someone is finally telling THE TRUTH" about Serbia.

      I find his story so pathetic. His wife dies... ok, that's terrible and sad. Then he sees a documentary about Serbia and "knows that he's supposed to move there and that it's the place for him"? He moves his daughter. wtf. Most people are trying to get there kids out of Serbia, and for good reason.

      He doesn't engage people at all on his site - only gushing comments about how wonderful his work is or how wonderful Serbia is (not just me, but (Serbian) friends of mine were deleted from his blog).

      Nobody gets plaid for blogging. This isn't 1998. The fact that he thinks he SHOULD get paid for "saying something nice about Serbia everyday" is simply outrageous.

      He's a parasite.

    2. not even saying himself - linking to something nice someone else has said.

    3. Now he's claiming email threats

    4. Hi haters over here. Not a lot of people are reading this blog, and it's good. 8000 people read my blog everyday and like what I'm doing for Serbia. Thank you Doot for linking to my blog. It makes it more popular.

      Where to begin. Doot. You don't like Serbia. Go home!
      To the anonymous guys. Regarding the attract in Studenski park. Are you stupid or what? Do you think I paid people to attack me in front of my daughter? Crazy you are. I was beaten and I have witnesses. My best friend is a high ranking police officer, that's why I call him first, not strange at all.

      Yes, I have no money, like most Serbs, but I survive, and can pay my 250 euro rent every month. Don't want to be rich, just to be able to survive. What is your problem with poor people. It seems you hate everyone, just because he is poor, but try to do something for Serbia.

      Last, I will ask you to put your real name here on your comments on my blog, so I can make you very popular in the world.

      Thanks again for linking to my blog!

      Karl Haudbourg
      Serbia's Ambassador to the World

    5. Where do you get the idea that anyone hates poor people?

      I'm just laughing that you think people should pay you for making 1 link a day on your site.

    6. Well, for what it's worth, Karl's site is a whole lot better than anything the government of Serbia was ever able to create, so in a sense they should probably pay him, lol.

    7. I'm not sure that they could/should be seen supporting someone who denies the Srebrenica massacre (wtf).

    8. Well actually, as much as it may pain you, Kosovo is Serbia. So that's not bullshit, but rather Karl is factually correct on this. If you don't believe me ask the UN why they aren't a member yet;) Aside the fact that the place is laden with Serbian orthodox monastery after monastery, most going back many centuries, despite the ethnic cleansing/genocide still currently being committed on our people. At the same time, monuments to the existence of any kind of Albanian presence are rarely more than 100 years old (and even those are very rare indeed). In other words it's clearly a Serbian holy land in which Albanians barely existed until about 150-200 years ago.
      As far as Srebrenica is concerned I'm not aware that Karl has denied a crime was committed. In fact, no one denies this. But it certainly wasn't genocide. And it's certainly a crime with a name and a place, so to speak. This crime was clearly not sanctioned by the Serbian state or it's people. In fact it was in large part committed by non-Serbs (e.g. Dražen Erdemović).
      However it's these most pertinent facts that are being obstructed, and with good reason. The reality is that those who are obstructing the bringing to light of these facts are the same ones who are ultimately responsible for this crime. And that's the job of the ICTY. To obscure the facts, not just in Srebrenica, but all the facts relating to the wars in the 90s. Lets face it, the ICTY are holding a man prisoner for 11 YEARS without even a preliminary verdict. Enough said.
      To sum up, you're not only baselessly malicious towards my country and my people, but you've clearly started engaging in active anti-Serbian propaganda. I don't know what's going on.....but maybe if we hug it out that will help.....:)

  3. He does use mostly other people's positive reviews of Serbia, but occasionally will do one of his own. I've noticed, though, that his own photos tend to be very poor - dark, blurry and not interesting. (He may have a talent for languages but definitely not for photography.) Even his daughter's photos, which he's put up once or twice - I noticed were better quality than his own. It's puzzling how his own photos are so low quality.
    I believe he left France because of the bad memories/association with his wife's death of breast cancer (if I recall correctly). He must have felt he had to escape: it represent(ed/s) his wife's illness and passing, and it must have been very, very hard on him.
    I think he could give private lessons/tutoring in teaching French or some other languages he knows. Maybe he could work as a tour guide (for the French-speaking tourists at least) if he gets the accreditation or whatever you need to do that. Or some sort of part-time work to supplement his income. I don't how much future support can be secured from the goodwill of the Serbian diaspora. And a bit worrisome to me: what kind of a stunt may he pull of next if the money gets low again?
    Also in regards to why I don't think there was an attack is that he never made an actual police report. I don't believe there is any real investigation or genuine search without that. When someone asked him about it, he only said he mentioned it to a policeman friend. But a casual mention is not the same as filing a report so I don't think there will ever be any of the (phantom) culprits caught.

  4. Something I find rather galling about all this is what percentage of Serbs are unemployed or underemployed?

    How much does one earn slaving in a bakery or trafika all day? maybe 200 euros?

    And he wants 300+ euros for reposting 1 post a day on his blog? So he can sit the rest of the day in a kafana?

    He could have taken his savings and opened a call center or something, employed 10 Serbs and been making more than 300 himself.

  5. He has money problems again:

    Are you, Doot, going to help him? Why don't you go over to his blog and give him some ideas to make money at least. I think he will read your comments even if he won't allow them to be posted.

  6. He's getting more desperate. From twitter:

    Karl Haudbourg ‏@KarlHaudbourg 1h
    Thanks all who responded to my help request (read donation) to support me. A big thank you to all people here for your O (yes, zero) support

    1. Imagine that..... after all he's done!

      Hilarious message. What a perverse sense of entitlement.

  7. Guilted Serbs to the rescue! From his blog yesterday: "Today three people donated to support Serbia’s Ambassador to the World’s website. Thank you so much Aleksandra N. who donated $50, Melana P. who donated $25, and Bojan K. who donated $20."

  8. Before his June panic, however, he was averaging $393 (or €300) from last December through May. He lists the totals on his donation page as follows:

    May 2013 $570
    April 2013 $295.
    March 2013 $521.
    February 2013 $187.
    January 2013 $305.
    December 2012 $480.

    So that would be enough to cover rent and utilities and maybe have a little bit left over for food, depending...
    Though what is the lowest he could pay on rent? I mean an apartment which is just large enough and decent enough for him and his 9-year-old. What would be your estimate for his rent if he got a good or fair deal?

    1. Hard to say, 2-250. He probably started out paying more because, say 600e sound super cheap compared to paris or wherever he came from and he's getting a palace to slowly downsizing. That's what most people do :)

      So, depends which phase he's in, still in the 600e lux place? downgraded to the 300 place? still paying a foreigners' premium?

  9. I never got the feeling that he was wealthy. He seems to dress decent, but basic and somewhat worn, and right from when I first noticed/followed his blog. There was never any sign he had once be that wealthy - he seemed to be living conservatively, never spendy. As for where he came from, there's a big clue on his donation page which also has his (old?) France address. The street is named Route des Avollions, and simple Googling gets you:
    Rue: Route des Avollions
    Code Postal: 74320
    Localité: Sévrier
    Ville: Haute-Savoie
    Région: Rhône-Alpes

    So he lived in eastern France near the Swiss border.

  10. I really dunno wtf that frenchie is doing here, if his wife would've been serbian i'd understand, but he seems to be coming out of the blue..

    kinda weird

  11. Sorry, what category YOU fall into? =)

  12. Hahaha hilarious blog. I'm a foreigner myself who laughs at 400Euros English Teacher/Looser who cannot earn a decent 3000 Euros a month in a foreign country. For more ideas you should look into BGFVC group on FB. The expats are more nationalist than local Serbs and the Repats think this is better than Heaven. For me it's good sometimes and worst sometimes. I like things being cheap here but that's about it. Rest of the story is pretty much like you. You should write a blog on Serbian customs like going out with wet hair, promaja and all that bullshit. It cracks me up :D

  13. Hah. That guy who runs the amabassador of serbia I was following on facebook for some time, until he was openly bashing gays. That's when I finally dropped the follow. I'm a little worried about the following he has though since my little protest in comments got zero backing. I Agree. Loser category. How disappointing though for those who do see the title "Ambassador of Serbia". I don't think that he really represents the populace with that kind of attitude.

    1. Linda, you are wrong, unfortunately.

      in 2010 Serbia had a 'successful' gay parade. 500 marchers had to be protected by 5000 police from 6500 hooligans who came to kill.

      Here's a video of just some of them wandering around the city shouting "kill the fag"

      Ambassador-Serbia guy has embraced a lot of bottom-of-the-barrel attitudes of Serbs and enthusiastically parrots them.

      Homophobia in Serbia is violent and virulent.

  14. looks like ambassador serbia guy spent all his donations in a kafana and can't afford his web hosting bill

  15. BGFVC is a great resource for foreigners to get info to lessen the sting of being in a such an alien place.
    I would recommend it to any foreigner who just moved to Serbia, yes there are some jokers there but come to think of it there are everyplace.
    Here's the link

    1. As someone already mentioned on this thread, BVFC is the very definition of clowns/schmucks and stockholm-syndrome sufferers.