Sep 03, 2011
I have had a great time in the past week and have been able to hang out with some really cool people. While I was in Sarajevo, Bosnia at the hostel I met an Australian guy who was also traveling alone and a girl from Australia who was traveling with a guy from New Zealand. The guy from Australia heard there was going to be a basketball game going on and so the four of us decided we would go. The rules seemed a little different but for the most part it was pretty much the same. It was a lot like a junior high school court with bleachers on one side only. The team ranged from the age of 18 to 35 with the 35 year old being the top player. Sarajevo defeated the opposing team. I am not a big sports fan but it was something different and nice to get a taste of the culture from this aspect. We had a good time and afterwards we went for dinner and drinks at a place called Cheers. The food was amazing, I am not sure what the name of the dish I had was because when the waiter asked what I wanted I just randomly pointed believing I would enjoy the upcoming surprise. It was huge! It was half moon shaped and similar to a very large pizza pocket. The oven baked pizza dough was stuffed with minced chicken and melted cheese. The pocket was smothered with sour cream and it was absolutely delicious. Everyone one of us were really impressed when we found out what I had ordered and everyone had to have a taste. The next day I met Genevieve and Robert from Alaska. They invited me to eat dinner with them in the old town square. They were just traveling for a few weeks and thought it was really cool that I had already been on the road for over two months now and had at least 10 months to go so they bought my dinner. I look forward to visiting them in Alaska someday. After dinner we met up with the guy from New Zealand and the girl from Australia and decided we would try out a bar with some live music and stumbled upon a really cool jazz bar. The following day I decided it was time to move on. I took a look at the train and bus schedule with my attention focused on Belgrade, Serbia. The train was about $6 cheaper and shortly made sense of it. I was on the train for a couple of hours stopping at every small village there was until we arrived in a larger town and was told to get off the train and get on a bus. Turns out the train tracks were destroyed between Bosnia and Serbia during the war. I was on the bus for a little more than one hour sound asleep when they woke me up and told to get off the bus again. This time it was to walk through the border patrol station. Everybody was being approved rather quickly to cross the border until it was my turn. My beard is getting very thick and I look nothing like my passport photo. The agent kept looking at me while I was rubbing my beard trying to let him know it was the only change in my appearance. He then asked me in broken english what my name was, I told him and he still had a very puzzled look and proceeded to ask when my birthday was. I said it pretty fast like I normally would when being asked "6/22/80" I could tell he didn't understand me and then he asked me what year again. I told him while still rubbing my very thick beard and smiling. He finally smiled back while shaking his head no, stamped my passport and waved me on across the border! We all got back on the bus for about 15 minutes then were told to get back on the train for another 6 hours. I met two guys from England and a girl from Australia on the train so we all set out to find a hostel together and with great luck we found Hostel 1001 Nights. It is a pretty laid back hostel and the owner is really cool and informative about the city. Friday night I was told to try out a club called The Tube. It was obviously pretty good because when I walked out of the club I wished I would have taken my sun glasses with me. I was not real sure how I got to the club because I followed someone that knew how to get to it. I began walking around looking at street signs that read like this "опростите ја сам изгубљен, можете ли ми рећи где сам ја?" Serbian Cyrillic makes no sense to me at all. After about 30 minutes of walking around I found 5 very nice police officers that spoke English and told me I was lost! Ha like I didn't know that. They gave me great directions and I arrived back at the hostel at 7:00am. The next day I went to a couch surfers barbecue at Lake Ada, met some really cool people and ate lots of good Serbian BBQ. That night I decided to go back to the club and as you can see in this picture http://www.thetube.rs/5th/?page=gallery&gal=../gallery/20111105/lg&naslov=Belgrade_Disco_Mafia_Peppe_Oysha_Goran_Starcevic_@_TUBE&datum=05.11.2011&strana=1 . I am wearing a nicely ironed button up shirt. I decided I needed a nice "going out shirt" so I found a second hand store and payed $6 for the best shirt in the store! Later that night I met a really nice girl named Neva, we talked for a little bit, she told me how she and her friend were making fun of me and saying I looked like the bearded man from the movie Hangover, not really what I would call a compliment but on Monday the 7th of November 2011 Neva bought me lunch at Little Bay restaurant http://www.littlebay.co.uk/beograd.html it is a really good place to eat and if you click around on some of the buttons on the website you should be able to find the photo gallery and see that it is built and designed to give you the feel of being at an opra. It is a very nice place with good food and reasonable prices. After dinner Neva and I took a walk around the old town fort and she was full of very interesting information about the fort and the city of Belgrade. I believe Neva will be another life long friend met on my journey around the world. She is an amazing lady and I had a great time hanging out with her. I know many of you would think Serbia is a horrible place and you would never even consider coming here. You are wrong and I hope this entry changes your thoughts on it. It is full of life and some of the nicest people I have ever met. There is always something to do in Belgrade whether it is having a cup of coffee at one of many coffee shops, dining at fine restaurants, enjoying some of the best night life in Europe or making conversation with the friendly locals. I am still here and I am not sure when I will leave.