9 June, 2014 12:34

it is so damn hot. we are in belgrad. belgrad is great. it is so damn hot.

We’re staying at the flat of a friend of my aunt’s. My aunt Gordana is from Belgrad. She knows a bunch of artists. They have a group called "Skart," which means something like "garbage," I think. We’re going on a walking tour of the old city tonight.

Belgrade is great because:

1. HOT. We went to a lake in the Sava river yesterday and I basically just fell in the green water forever. A fountain in the lake sprays water 50 feet into the air. There was a cafe at the lake, and we had beers and enormous, enormous giganto mongo burgers with Marija, whom we met through a mutual Istanbul friend. I climbed a tree and rescued some wild plums, and we ate them. It’s like being on vacation! That is so strange. Most of our trip has been normal ernie travel enjoyment, which means changing plans and itineraries at the last possible second a lot, and suddenly it’s hot and we’re in this very civilized city with cafes and street beer and a lake.

2. There is a Nkola Tesla museum, and a Tito museum. Both are closed because it is monday. (we made the mistake of adventuring through the heat to discover their monday closure.) We shall try again tomorrow.

3. In a park, we saw some public workout equipment, and this musclebound dude was spinning a wheel round and round and round. He looked like those walrus-mustachioed gentlement circa 1900 lifting big trapezoidal weights. But it’s 2014! In serbia! Wild.

4. The local beer is Jelen (pronounced "yellin’), and its logo is a bellowing elk.

5. We saw a collection of rocks set up to look like stonehenge, and we termed it Serbhenge and took a picture pretending to sacrifice the puppy upon the rocks a la Isaac/Abraham.

6. We got into the Belgrade Bus station at 5am, after not sleeping at all on the night bus from Sarajevo, and we were so tired we wandered up a broad avenue lined with bombed-out brick buildings and tram lines, and slept on a park bench in the rising sun.

7. our second night here, Nena, our contact via Gordana, told us to go to a finnish big-band show. They sang ellington and irving berlin hits, with finnish lyrics. It was great. (and only 3 euro??)

it’s literally too hot for me to think about anything else, but anyways it turns out belgrade is like the european culture experience you’ve always wanted–pedestrian streets dotted with cafes where they serve pizza, beer, and good coffee for really cheap next to big old castles, and you feel very sophisticated. Also I am very proud to say I can order in serbian now. Mogu li dobite jedem josh espresso? (that is all I can say.)

Next up on ernie’s blog: almost getting converted to catholicism in Hercegovina.

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