Tuesday 26 August 2008

To Vienna and beyond - part II (final)

Once I got into the train, I tried to get some sleep, but I couldn’t - the sun was already up, and I can never seem to sleep when there is day light. Anyways, I had some more 2 to 3 hours till Vienna.
In the middle of the trip - I don't know exactly why - I got kinda worried about my passport inside my purse: my purse is huge and it can't be properly closed, so it came to my mind that maybe would be better to have it closer to me, in my back pocket.
Ok: passport safely placed and baggage in hands, I jumped off the train in a sunny warm morning in Vienna. I went just across the big street in front of Westbanhof to search for some hostels I've searched on the internet, just before I left Belgrade. To my not-so-pleasant surprise, all the hostels were completely booked for the next few days. Damn!
Soon I realised I’d better get used to the idea of staying in a hotel: although hotels in Vienna - even the not so good ones - can be rather expensive, I was just gonna stay for a night, so I could handle paying some more for a hotel.

After I checked in at the hotel and left my stuff in my room, I went out for a walk in the centre of the city. So nice! Especially because, like I was "warned" by many of my friends here, Vienna is full of serbians. Literally everywhere I looked there was something mentioning Serbia in some way, or people speaking serbian all around me. So great!
The funniest thing ever was, actually, coming across Cafe Lepa Brena, hahaha. I couldn’t stop laughing and I had to get in. Inside the cafe, I was invited to seat with two very, very drunk guys, a viennese and a serbian. They thought I was serbian, and then they thought I was russian (like most everybody in Vienna seemed to think), and after some crazy conversation, I left Lepa Brena for some more walk - and a bratwurst hot dog, haha.

I then sat on an internet cafe for a quick emails checking. As soon as I got online, I was as happy as can be to see that Fecula didn't forget to send me the overture of the opera "Die Fledermaus" - as far back as I can remember, Fecu and I have this deal that, once we visited Vienna, we would have to do it listening to that overture! When I browsed my huge purse in search of my mp3, I realised something that made me freeze for an instant: my passport wasn't there. Immediately I remembered that I've changed its place to my back pocket. Phew... But when I decided to check my back pocket, just to confirm it was there, I froze again - and this time, not just for an instant: the passport wasn't in my pocket either!
I started getting seriously nervous, but on an attempt to calm myself down, I convinced myself that, "of course", I had left it in my hotel room.
I finished my online business calmly and drove myself back to the hotel, to take a quick shower, get dressed, and finally head to Ost Fest - the reason that took me till Vienna in the first place.

As soon as I reached the hotel and my room again, I completely turned the room upside down, trying to find my passport that wasn't there too. This time, for real, I started freaking out.
I decided to re-make my way through Vienna and stop and ask for the passport in the places I've been to, but nothing. Even at the station, the officer from the "lost and found" section told me that nobody found a passport and that, if they did find it anytime, they would call me at my hotel.
Back to the hotel I decided to call the embassy to see if I could manage to get a new one, urgently. Lucky as I am - yes, once one thing goes wrong with me, everything starts going wrong all together - the person in charge to issue passports for urgent cases like mine, was travelling to Ljubljana, took the keys of the passports' safe with him, and would only be back by monday. Brilliant. That meant that I'd have to wait at least more two nights in Vienna in order to get a new passport aaaand then, if I was lucky enough, one or two more nights waiting for a new serbian visa - that is, if I had the papers needed to get a visa again which, of course, I didn't.
F u c k i n g h e l l
I ran to the nearest police office and registered that I've lost my passport with and officer that, poor guy, couldn't understand almost any english, at all. Even so, he was much nicer than that bastard from the brazilian embassy and made his best to help me, registering everything and all.

I went back to the hotel completely crushed. When I got into my room again I was like a silly little kid moaning around "I want to go back to my Belgrade, I want Belgraaaade" and kinda sniffy and all. I then realised that, worse than not seeing Belgrade so soon, would be the huuuuge money I was gonna spend staying in Vienna for at least more 4 nights, not to mention the new passport and visa, that would take me away quite some money as well. That was when I completely freaked out - which led me to a huge nose bleed (yeah gross, I know, but whenever I get too freaking nervous, my nose bleeds like a river) after which I fell asleep like a stone, on the floor of my room.

I woke up with the bells of the church at 6 pm. For a few seconds, while still sleepy and not knowing exactly where I was (I could swear I was in Belgrade, haha), I thought the whole passport thing didn't happen for real. But as soon as I realised I was really in Vienna - and being so, without my passport - I felt completely devastated again. I started getting dressed up to go to Ost Fest although I wasn't really in the mood for party, at all. But while getting dressed I started getting used to the idea that there would be no way other than to wait to solve everything, and that would be no good to do it in such a bad mood. So I cheered up, took my things with me, and headed to the festival.

I decided to take a taxi, as I had no idea what so ever where Galopprennbahn Freudenau was. And of course the taxi driver had no idea as well. He asked one of his colleagues and it seemed one of them had a far idea of where could it be. We rode and rode, and I started getting worried when the taximeter reached 10 Euros – and we were not even close to find where the damn festival was. When it reached 11, god was probably already sorry for me and my wallet, and all of a sudden the taximeter stopped working! The driver apologized about it and also for not knowing where the place I wanted to go was, and said the no matter how long it took us to get there, it wouldn’t be more than 10 Euros (a taxi driver would never be that nice in Brazil…) .

Anyways, after more than 20 minutes riding around Vienna, we finally found the place, with a huge display of Ost Fest and all. I couldn’t help but smiling from cheek to cheek – the driver even said I had a “luminous smile” haha. I wish…

Getting to the entrance, I felt really VIP when I was told my name was actually on two guest lists: Kosta’s and Milan and Uroš’s. With my backstage passes on my wrist, I got into the 'venue': a huuuuge open air arena for horse races, completely packed with people, with the big stage far ahead, lots of beer and doner (\o/) kiosks all around and Max Pashm and his crew onstage – how great was that??? I mean, a huge festival entirely dedicated to balkan beats and packed with people, with one of my favourite DJs ever playing the tunes I love!!!

As I was approaching the stage, Kosta called me and I headed to the backstage area to meet him. Seeing Kostovinski is always soooo great! Last time we were together was in Rio, in early june, at my “Go East” party. Kosta is, for me, like an older brother, so of course I was missing him a whole lot (yeah, if you read this Kosta, know that you truly are like an older brother to me :)))))
Kosta had to rush though, as he was the next one to go onstage after Mr. Pashm.

Right after that I came across Milan and some of his friends from Slovenia, really cool people.

Kosta’s DJ set was, as always, brilliant. And right after him came Balkan Beat Box: what a b r i l l i a n t concert they did! They managed to be even better than on their recordings, which is usually pretty hard for any band with lots of electronics. New Order, for example, sucks live, although they’re by far my favourite (studio) band ever. And come on, it’s New Order, they even have the right to suck live, haha. But nevermind them.

Back to Ost Fest, I had a quick first meeting with Penny Metal, another greeeat DJ that I always wanted to meet. Lovely funny person, and such a great DJ! She’s known for her big eastern European vinyls collection and her crazy eastern blok ska and traditional music DJ sets, haha.

Come to ska, after Balkan Beat Box left the main stage, Russkaja – a Russian ska band, based in Vienna – took the stage, and made a fantastic concert too.

At this point the night started getting kinda chilly and very windy, what took me (and my short pants) to go inside the club, where Kosta, Penny Metal, Shazalakazoo and the guys from Balkanika were setting one blast of a party, with “DJ duels” and all!

I stayed at the indoor party till 6am, when the festival ended. I shared a taxi back to “civilization” with Kosta, Penny Metal and an Australian guy called Nick, if I well remember. Really nice fellow too.

When I left them at their hotel and started heading to mine, alone in the cab, all the fun was over: I started thinking about the passport and visa issue again, and started planning, in my mind, what I would have to do: look for a cheaper hotel, tell my family in Brazil what happened, call the embassy, call Serbia, call Brazil… I entered the hotel and went to the reception, head down and all, when the receptionist gave me the keys to my room and my passport. My… pass… port! Ahhhhhh my passport!!!

I guess I exclaimed “Oh my god” one hundred thousand times, on every single language I could possibly remember hahaha. And I kissed my passport, and the receptionist, and thanked as much as I could. She told me that the police found it at the station and brought it to the hotel, during the night. How I love the Viennese police, haha.

I ran to my room jumping around, and I wasn’t even drunk! Packed my things and left everything ready to, after a short 4 hours of sleep, check out the hotel, go for a walk around the city and then, at 7:49 pm, finally catch my train back to Belgrade.

Vienna was brighter for me (and my passport!) during my last few hours in the city. Even though the sun of the day before was gone and a wind chill was bringing the temperature down (around 14 degrees), there was no bad weather for me while I had 3 cups of Earl Gray tea in one of the open air cafes in Mariahilferstrasse.

After 10 to 11 hours traveling on the train back – with two really cool Bulgarian girls and 3 old Romanian guys – I finally reached Belgrade, on a chilly morning. But again, there’s no bad weather when we’re where we really want to be :)

Milan says “nobody loves austrian policemen”

Well… I do, haha

To Vienna and beyond - part I

Ahhh Vienna...

I could never tell that a less-than-48-hours trip to Austria could be so adventurous. But again, is like Kosta says, "you live your life like in a great adventure movie, Tete". And yes, hehe, he's absolutely right.

Plus, I realise now that there's the "Belgrade factor": it seems that everytime I leave Belgrade to go somewhere else, the trip ends up turning into a crazy journey. Like the Shabla episode. And like this one now.


I took my train to Vienna at 15 past 10 in the evening. After getting informed with an officer on the station which one was my train - and, of course, listening to the infamous line "hablas espanol?" after telling him I'm from Brazil (and I only told him my nationality because he asked if I was russian, haha), I took my seat inside the wagon.
In my cabin there was a south korean girl and two polish, a girl and an old man.
The girl, around my age I guess, was coming back from a volunteer work in Kosovo, with serbian people - people which, both she and the old man said, they were really found of. She told me that once, when they were getting ready for a surgery and the local radio started playing a kolo, all the surgeons started dancing, even though they were about to start a medical procedure, haha. She was coming back to her hometown, but she said she was hoping to be back to Serbia real soon.
Now, the old man really reminded me of a singer I know from the opera theater, in Rio: same way to speak, cool and easy, same beard and face shape. I forgot the polish man's name, but he also had a very interesting story: he's a writter (politics writer) and he was, among other cities, visiting Kosovo as well, and collecting material for his new book, about NATO in the Balkans.
The three of us (the south korean girl spoke almost no english at all, sadly) shared quite really nice talk till we reached Novi Sad, when we fell asleep.

We woke up as soon as we reached Subotica and had to show our passports, to then enter into Hungarian territory. The passport control guy made the funniest face I've ever seen when he saw my huge name in my passport, hahaha. After stamping and giving it back to me, he exclaimed, in a rather funny accent "Name... Suuuuuper!", making thumbs up to me, hahaha. Oh god...

I slept til the sun started rising, right before arriving in Budapest. Looking through the train window and seeing things written in hungarian all around only increased my feeling that hungarian is, perhaps, one of the most unfamiliar western languages I've ever seen before. It'a a language that kinda scares me, haha, don't know why...
Anyways, I jumpped off the train in Budapest where, after looking at the board with the trains' schedule for a while - I was still feeling rather sleepy - I realized that everything was written either in hungarian (ouch!) or german. Lucky me I spent time enough in Germany last year to understand some basic stuff, which allowed me to locate my platform and head to the train that was gonna take me to my final destination: Vienna

Sorry folks, need to move now to meet some friends in Zemun.
Stay tunned in for the next part, hehe ;)

Sunday 24 August 2008

Quick update - more details soon!

In the past 48 hours, I:

- Travelled over 20 hours by train, from Belgrade to Vienna, and back;
- Got large smiles from serbian people living in Vienna :) ;
- Found Vienna to be rather beautiful;
- Had a funny talk with two drunk guys (a viennese and a serbian), at the Lepa Brena cafe;
- Ate tones of bratwurst mit brot (!!!);
- Lost my passport in Vienna;
- Got desperate for some 15 hours;
- Spent an hour at the Police Station in Vienna, trying to make the policeman understand me in english;
- Rode all Vienna on a taxi for virtually no money at all;
- Met Kosta again, after 3 months (!!!);
- Had 12 non-stop hours of balkan and eastern european music;
- Met Max Pashm (!!!);
- Met Penny Metal (!!!);
- Saw Balkan Beat Box live (!!!);
- Saw Shazalakazoo live again (!!!);
- Met the guys from Balkanizer (!!!);
- Saw Russkaja live (!!!)
- Met a not so cool guy from Russia, that was acting more like a low rate latin lover;
- Almost exploded of happiness at 7 am, when back to the hotel I found out the police found my passport;
- Bought a rather interesting Portugal-related shirt (in Vienna!);
- Had litres of Earl Gray tea;
- Found out I can understand more romanian than I could ever imagine. And even some bulgarian too;
- Slept 10 hours on my super double bed with tones of pillow (!!!).

It's good to be back to my Belgrade :)

To my visitants from NORWAY :)

Ok, this is a bit off topic, but it`s been some time now that I feel like asking this to the readers and visitants of this blog:

Accordingly to some tools I have linked to this blog, Norway is the country from where a huuuuge part of my visitants come from, even more than Brazil (where I come from and where most of my friends live).

So, I'd like to know from you, people from Norway, who visit this blog: how did you guys come across my "Wish I could reach you in Belgrade" blog? I'd love to know what bring you people here :)

Feel more than welcome to leave me a comment on here, or write me to teteglitter @ gmail.com

Thursday 21 August 2008

Vienna, here I come!

Dear ones,

My computer collapsed some three days ago, reason why I haven`t updated here for quite some time now. I am now kinda in a rush, just checking e-mails and getting ready to leave to Vienna, Austria, this evening - where I`ll be going to Ost Fest, meeting Kosta after a couple of months and, of course, having quite a lot of fun :)))))))
I`ll try and make a quick update at some point in time once I reach Vienna.

Hopefully, when I`m back, the computer will be back to life as well.
See you soon,
- Maria

Ps.: I just regret not having the overture of "Die Fledermaus" on my mp3 player to hear once I`m in Vienna...

Sunday 17 August 2008

Morning walks

Ok, now who could ever tell that I would be waking up early in the morning to "be healthy"?

Yeah, that`s what Belgrade does to me...

Haha, my mom would be proud!

Thursday 14 August 2008

Like the deserts miss the rain

After we got back home from our crazy and fun night out, I was suddenly stroken by a weird anxiety, for appearently no reason at all.

I went to my bedroom, sat on the bed and my mind was as blank as it could be. Attempting to distract myself a little bit from that weird feeling that was taking me over, I started putting my things in order and cleaning my room till the last hair string was off the floor. It didn`t really work, and I was still feeling that weird thing. Around 4am I decided to take a bath, to try and relax a bit.

As soon as I sat on the tub and actually started the bath, I started crying, compulsevely: I realised I`d never hear the voice of my mom ever again, calling or waking me up at 10 past 1am (the time I was born), to wish me happy birthday on every august 12th, like she always did as far as my memory goes. And it hurts so much and deep, like a wound, every time this comes to my mind again.

Tones of memories of my mom were coming back to me during the bath, one after the other, and I was feeling completely devastated. Of all of them, this one made me stop crying:
Last time I spoke to my mom before she died was when I was here, in Belgrade - just a day before my return to Rio. I was as crushed as somebody could be about leaving Belgrade, and she was comforting me, telling me that maybe I should postpone my ticket and stay longer, if I felt like doing so. I remember telling her that I`d rather go back then and save what was left of my money to return as soon as possible. She agreed it was a better idea and said that she was really happy that I enjoyed here so much. That was when I told her that someday I would show her the city myself, and take her to my favourite place ever, Kalemegdan. She got really all happy and excited with the idea of coming to Serbia someday soon, and seeing the Danube, the river that she always wanted to see and to put her feet in :)

So, I ran to finish the bath and got dressed as fast as I could. Took with me the small can with what was left of her ashes and headed, walking, to the bank of the Danube, where I left on the river a hand of her ashes. Right afterwards I went to the highest spot of Kalemegdan that I could reach, where I threw away another hand of the ashes. Then I just sat there and stayed, quiet and alone, crying what I should have cryied 7 months ago - but I suppressed, instead - when everything happened.

Crying so hard always makes me sleepy - and I fell asleep on the grass, watching this old man working out when the sun was just coming out.

I woke up, around 9, when the fortress was starting to get crowded. It was time for me to go back home, as Valerie and Julien were to wake up soon - and they could get worried if they didn`t find me there.

Walking back to my place and feeling the morning wind made me feel better again, like if the pain was medicated. Even if just for a while.

Wednesday 13 August 2008

Friends over

Jan. 11th 2008

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 ;)

Friday 8 August 2008

Porque Belgrado?!

Sabem, é engraçado isso. Sempre que me perguntam "Mas porque Belgrado???", eu fico sem saber dizer o porque. Eu penso em um milhão de bons motivos, mas são motivos que eu não tenho como explicar falando, ou com imagens e fotos bonitas e tal. E tentando explicar com palavras, esses motivos soam como os mais bestas do mundo. E não são.

Meu tio, por exemplo, esteve recentemente viajando pela França e Itália, e se encantou com tudo o que viu. Uma das coisas que ele me disse assim que voltou, meio que brincando, foi "Você que diz que gosta de Belgrado, diz isso porque ainda não esteve em Paris, ou em Roma. É primeiro mundo lá".
Realmente, Belgrado não tem milhares de lugares lindos pra ver como tem Paris, ou Roma, ou mesmo Berlim e Londres. E certamente também não é primeiro mundo. Existem milhares de problemas aqui, e tudo o mais. E talvez por isso eu me sinta tão bem aqui. De alguma forma, Belgrado "sente" familiar pra mim. Meio como se eu tivesse no Rio.
Não estou dizendo que o Rio não tem milhares de coisas lindas pra ver - tem sim. Mas tirando o "circuito turístico", a parte "cidade do dia-a-dia" que nós cariocas conhecemos não é exatamente a mais visualmente atrativa. E são justamente essas coisas que eu curto no Rio. A parte 'cidade' meeesmo, cinza, barulhenta, gente pra todo lado no centro da cidade, carros enlouquecidos e etc. E acho que seja talvez esse "feeling" uma das coisas que me conecta aqui com Belgrado.

Desde que consigo me lembrar, nunca senti no Rio o meu 'lar'. Sempre achei que aquilo lá não era pra mim, não era o meu lugar. E de repente, me sinto em casa em uma cidade lá no finzinho da Europa, com outra língua totalmente diferente, outros costumes, outra história. E com esses que citei acima e mais milhares de outros pontos comuns com o Rio - e me sinto em casa :)

Thursday 7 August 2008

Walks - Caminhadas

Today was one of these days to walk, walk and walk some more... It's the kind of thing that I never get tired of doing here, be it when it's -10 or +35 degrees, like it was today.
As it couldn't be different, the spotlight for me was Kalemegdan, where I've been twice today: um by the end of the morning, and another one to watch the sunset. B-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.

Hoje foi desses dias de andar, andar e andar mais um pouco... É o tipo de coisa que não me cansa aqui, seja no frio de -10 ou no calor de 35 graus, como fez hoje.
Como não podia ser diferente, o ponto alto pra mim foi Kalemegdan, aonde estive hoje duas vezes: uma ao final da manhã e outra pra assistir ao por do sol. L-i-n-d-o.

Wednesday 6 August 2008

My first (decent) update :)

After experiencing winter here in Belgrade several months ago, I thought I wouldn`t like it here so much in during the summer. Of course I was wrong.

I mean, winter is still my favourite season of the year - maybe because it`s still something new for someone like me, coming from a tropical country. But still, there`s just something magical about snow and cold weather, specially here in Belgrade. It`s even in the city`s name (Belgrade meaning ~white city~), so I guess I'm not the only one to think so. But still, even during summer, this place have something I can`t quite put my fingers on, but it`s catchy!

After a 14 hours flight from Rio to Paris and then to Belgrade, arriving at Nikola Tesla airport was a familiar feeling, although this time I was not completely absent as I was on my first arrival here. After meeting with Toma at the gate we just headed downtown, to get to my place, have a glass of water (from the sink! I don think I mentioned this before, but here we can actually drink from the sink!) and then we went out for a fast lunch, a walk till Kalemegdan and quite some ice cream on the way. Come to ice cream, I must say Belgrade is a summer paradise to me: there`s ice cream everywhere, on every single corner, with lots to choose from. On Knez Mihailova there was even a round display for the ice creams, that goes round and round, rather hypnotising for an ice cream maniac like me, haha.

Kalemegdan was just beautiful. B e a u t i f u l. Seeing my favourite place on earth again, this time not covered in snow, made me feel like I`m really here again. It`s a magical place (Pedro will agree with me on this, I guess).

After all that, I came back to my place and slept like a stone till 2 am, when I woke up and came online to check my emails and for the quick update you can see below. And then back to quite some more sleep.

As soon as I woke up today - early in the afternoon, shame on me! - I called Sanja, to plan when and where to meet up. Of course, the choice had to be at the horse.

I can`t remember if I ever wrote here about the horse and the Republic Square (Trg Republike). Well, the horse is a famous monument at the Republic Square, right before the National Museum and the National Theater, and it`s the most famous meeting point here in Belgrade. There`s always tones of people waiting around the horse, with their mobile on their hands, waiting for someone. Now, during the summer, differently from winter time, all the cafes surrounding the square had outside tables, all of them packed with people. The water fountains were all working and the fans - just like those water fans we have on some concert venues in Rio - were working full throttle.

It was great to meet up with Sanja after 7 months! She took me to one of her favourite cafes in the city, where we had some coffees and sodas, and a looong talk. She taught me some serbian stuff, while I tried to teach her some portuguese as well. Then some more walk, and lots of talking, a bus from here to there and then back here, it was dark. I even managed to take a photo of the Metro before the officer come and say it wasn't allowed, hehehe.

reminds me of the huuuge stairs in some London tube station

After all that we bought big bottles of Coke and Ice Tea, sat on the bench of the street just around Palmotićeva, and talked some more, while watching young boys playing hide and seek on the street.

It's a weird thing to me to see so many people on the streets at night, going out, walking or even playing on the street like those boys. It's something completely unthinkable for me, from Rio, to see kids out at 11 pm, or people walking their dogs out, with no fear at all, just enjoying a warm summer night. Wish Rio was more like this...

Here I am now, falling asleep, and quickly finishing this post to get myself in bed as soon as possible. And I promise some more pictures for tomorrow!

Tuesday 5 August 2008

In Belgrade! - Em Belgrado!

Already with my feet in serbian soil again!
Tomorrow I'll post photos, details, and everything :)

Já com meus pés em solo sérvio, denovo!
Amanhã posto fotos, detalhes, e outros vários etcs :)