As soon as I woke up - hehe, around 11 o`clock, shame on me - I ran to confirm with Miloš the reservation I did for Valerie and her friend, who were coming back home (Belgium and France, respectively) from Guča and spending a day here in Belgrade before doing so.
For those who are misinformed, Valerie is a friend of mine from Liege, Belgium, that I had the chance to meet for the first time when I was in Cologne with Nara, december last year. We`re both crazy about balkan and gypsy music, and we also share this obssession about Serbia - some of the many reasons that made us become friends right away when we met. Having this said and explained, it`s not needed to mention how much we waited for this moment , this meeting in Belgrade.
After a very light lunch - I can`t seem to eat a propper meal when the weather is this warm - I had a quick meeting with Toma, on a warm-like-hell early afternoon around here. We met on Terazije and, poor him, he was carrying this heavy computer to a friend`s place, to see if it was possible to fix it.
As soon as Toma and I splitted ways, I ran back to my place to see if Valerie was already there. Some half an hour after I arrived, the bell rang - and it was finally her!!!
After she and Julien (her french friend) took a shower and were ready again, we went out for a walk around town. It feels so good to know a bit more of the center of Belgrade like I know it now, and guide people around... Even in Rio, I was always ending up like some sort of tourist guide to friends from abroad. Now I even remember once my cousin from Brasilia said I should work tourism, haha.
Oh, come to that, I must comment on the book that Toma gave me on my birthday. It`s kind of a guide of important historical 'buildings' around Serbia and Montenegro, from pre-history to the 20th century, telling the history of each one of them. The introduction is so cool, an overview on the region`s history and it`s art and architeture. Love it!It makes me miss my history books that were left in Brazil...
Ok, back to Valerie and Julien, of course our walk had to end up where the centre of the city ends up - in Kalemegdan. We just sat there on the grass under a tree for several minutes, watching the rivers and updating each other with news from the past 9 months since our first and last meeting.
Watching the Danube :)
After that we sat on a cafe still inside the fortress, in front of the Cvijeta, for a Cola and a lemonade. More walks around, and Valerie asked me to suggest a place where we could have a some typical serbian food. Srpska Kafana (just around the corner of my street!) was my choice. Last time I`ve been there was with Milan, in january, and I remember getting back home completely drunk, feeling like floating on a sea of red wine with spices, hahaha. Nice memory.
Šopska salata with bread, some ajvar (hmmmm!), gulaš for Valerie, ćevapi for me, and something I can`t remember for Julien - I do remember that there were some potatoes and it smelled great.
Back home to change our outfits for more "going out" ones, Valerie and I headed to Skadarlija
Skadarlija (Serbian Cyrillic: Скадарлија) is a vintage street, an urban neighborhood and former municipality of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. It is located in the Belgrade municipality of Stari Grad (Old town) and generally considered the main bohemian quarter of Belgrade, styled as the Belgrade Montmartre. (Wikipedia)
I've been there last december, on the first night of Fecula and Rodrigo in Belgrade, with Nara, Toma and Ivan - so great!
This time, it was only me and Valerie. As soon as we chose where to seat and have a drink, our attention was completely taken by one loud table where the place`s musicians were playing songs that, of course, me and Valerie knew. We stared at them for several minutes, with big smiles on, when some of them noticed and invited us to come closer and enjoy the music together. Of course, there we were. After some of our favourite tunes, such as Evo banke cigane moj, the loud dancing and singing group of people started heading back to their tables, when one of them passed by me and asked me something in serbian, that I couldn`t get.
- Sorry, I don`t speak serbian - I said
When the guy replyed
- Aww, why not? (haha yes, in english)
-Because I`m from Brazil - I replyed.
When I said that, the guy opened his eyes widely like in shock, haha, and he grabbed his friend`s arm, saying "hey, she`s brazilian!".
After that, the entire place knew I was from Brazil, and I became some sort of attraction, haha. We were invited to join them on their table, where I felt like a guest on some crazy talk show, hahaha. They wanted to know how was life in Brazil, how was Rio like, about music, the language and this and that and, of course, how a blonde someone like me could be brazilian, haha.
In the middle of the whole thing, Val realised it was 5 past midnight - and being so, it was already my birthday! Everybody started screaming and wishing me happy birthday, singing and hugging me, and one of them even passed to me her mobile phone, where a friend of her - who was having her birthday on the same day - was on, hahaha. Crazy, crazy...
So, after almost 3 hours sitting there, singing along and listening to them singing every serbian and balkan song we could name, it was time to go back home, for most of them had to work early on that morning. We exchanged mobile numbers with them and went back to our place, both of us as happy as we could be :)
Val had to go back to Liege around noon the next day. But she`ll be back in october, for some more Belgrade ;)