Belgrade August 18-20

Trip Start Jun 27, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Serbia and Montenegro  ,
Friday, August 18, 2006

OK so I came back to Belgrade to get back on my previous plan and also because there was a big Beer Fest that I had heard a lot about. First night we went out with a bunch of people from the hostel I was staying. We had a really interesting group with a few Aussies (Aussies are everywhere) an American guy and his girlfriend from the UK who were biking from Spain to Istanbul, and a couple other girls from Canada. We ended up meeting a bunch of locals that were all really cool and for the most part spoke pretty good English. I guess the only negative comment was when somebody asked the Canadian girl where she was from the guy said "You bombed my country!" (Canada part of NATO who bombed Serbia during the war) but I don't really think that anyone had any bad feelings towards us. Rather, they wanted to make us feel welcome and to show us that Serbs weren't as bad as what they think the Wests perception is. Unfortunately I am an idiot and forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures from this night. I gave my email address to a couple people that did so we'll see if they send em to me or not. One of the guys we met was a giant Serbian dude which is somewhat reduntant because Serbs in general are huge. It is absolutely no accident that they are good at basketball. I think if they had half as many people as the US they would dominate. (I think they have about 3% of the US population and they still do better than us in international competition but you know what I mean.)
After a litte bit of sightseeing on Sat we the American cycling guy who is a chef made dinner for everyone. Even though they are vegetarians it was great. Then some of us went out for night 2 which proved to be quite interesting. Once again we met many locals who wanted to impress upon us that they are "not terrorists and we don't each children" was one memorable quote. So as things died down at the Beer Fest we went to leave and couldn't find a taxi since pretty much everyone in town was there. So in our Beer Fest induced state we decided that it was a good idea to jump on a jam packed random truck with just a flat piece of wood on back that looked like it was built in about 1948. After driving around aimlessly for a while, sometimes staying in our lane, sometimes not, we realized that we were risking out lives and not getting anywhere, so we finally got off. I think that may have actually been more dangerous than the scooters in Greece, which, speaking of that, at dinner one of the Aussie guys was randomly talking about his scooter injuries from Greece and I guess he and his friend both wrecked, one cost 250 euros the other 750 euros and almost his life. I've decided to start counting positives where negatives are expected to offset the opposite (for example luggage). Escaping scot free on the scooters somewhat offsets the luggage. Greg is the only one I've talked to that didn't crash a scooter. Anyway, after a fun time at the Beer Fest, it was time to head to the coast and the newly independent Montenegro.
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