Thursday, 9 September 2010

22-08-2010 Belgrade Beer Festival: Take Two

I wake feeling surprisingly good. The breakfast is even better than the evening meal, with many similar dishes but the addition of some fresh(still warm) milk, and also kimak (which is cuds/whey I can't remember which). Theo and I take another Rakia with our hosts - hair of the dog and all that. We lounge away the morning, slowly sobering up. Another magic frappe from Eva and I'm right as rain.

We give thanks to our generous hosts and leave at around 14.00, we meet for a coffee on route back to Belgrade. Miljan and Ana have a trendy flat in New Belgrade. We sit and eat water melon, to the relief of my company I take a shower - though I think my sandals need bleaching, or better yet burning! Smelling slightly better we head to Savana, I've heard much about this place over the last 20 days. One of Mihailo's favorite places to be, sipping coffee and chatting away the afternoon. As with many of the riverbank cafes Savana is built on a floating pontoon. It's nice to be bobbing on the river, though at first I mistake the sensation for lastnights Rakia rearing it's ugly head. I meet more of Mihailo's friends and also chat more with Theo and Eva, when they take their leave I talk with Miki. Born in Israel he qualified as an architect in Belgrade to escape National Service, he speaks with eloquence in several languages including English. He's very keen for me to receive a balanced view of the city and interested to hear my first impressions. He recommends some places for me to go that might be a little more "here and now" and abit more real, I hope I get the chance to visit them. We are heading back to the flat and so say our goodbyes, I would have liked to spend more time getting to know Miki and hear his thoughts on Belgrade, he seemed very objectively aware of the ins and outs of life in the city.

At a Cafe near the flat I say hello to Mariusz and Sarah (whom we me in Hungary) and Dan & Claire (Linz/Vienne) and their new riding friend Arno, which takes the population of the "cyclists hostel" from one when I left, to six. Showering done we hit the Beer Festival for my third night in a row of liver abuse. All the faces are more familiar than the first night and I feel surrounded by friends. After sampling some beers we go to dance. There's quite a mix of music, I quite like the Serbian rock, mainly because I've never heard it before. I'm disappointed when a DJ set takes me right back to Zanzibar. It doesn't happen often, but I think Dan managed to "out camp" me on the dance floor - I conclude he and Claire didn't meet while dancing : ). We return to the bar for more drinking but a soon as Faithless comes on Dan and I are back in the mix, we slip through the crowds towards the stage. Center front is a ragged circle of topless muscle bound giants with t-shirts and scarves hiding all but their eyes. They are pushing and fighting anyone that gets too close. Since meeting Dan I get the impression that in some respects we think on a similar level, I glance a look at him, he says "fuck it" - and we charge in. We bounce in the dust and sweat for sometime, the best way I can describe it is "punching above my weight". At the edge of the circle we grin at each other with a childlike glee. Then suddenly WHAM!! As the dust disperses I see Dan helped to his feet - all in good fun. So with one bruised knee and two bruised egos we return to the safety of our friends. We manage to loose Sarah for sometime, but once reunited we head back to the flat. I move my bed onto the balcony due the the heat, it makes for a great nights sleep.

1 comment:

  1. you have no idea how jealous i am of reading your blogs mate, part of me wishes i sacked everything off and joined you