An addendum to the previous list:
Been followed along the Danube riverbank by a group of young Serbian children only for the smallest among them to yell “Serbia is the best country” before scuttling away as I headed for the stairs. I responded "I agree."
Attempted, on several occasions, to order a ‘choose your toppings’ lunch from a stand in Novi Beograd despite not knowing the word for a single vegetable
Traveled to London from Serbia and witnessed countless airport staff members integrally struggle to decide what language to greet me in. Picture a series of interactions that end in awkwardness with progressively less context.
Spent my 20th birthday traveling through Transylvania via a stranger’s car
Bargained with an unhappy Serbian cab driver to avoid being ripped off only for him to warm up considerably upon learning that I actually liked living in Belgrade. As I opened the door to exit the car he invited me for coffee at his usual post by the train station
Ordered a traditional Romanian lamb dish and watched in awe as the waiter delivered it and promptly poured flaming whiskey over the whole plate
Applied for a visa over the course of six visits to the ministry of foreign affairs- an opportunity to parallel the struggles of applying for a US visa as a foreigner with the process of applying abroad as an American
Shared a moment of MEC (meaningful eye contact- a phrase coined by a former English literature teacher) with a beautiful stranger as we witnessed a traditional Romanian folk dance. Imagine he had been stood up by a blind date. The plot thickens.
Spent a sunset at Kalemegdan, watching the colors change across the sky as every single Serb between the ages of sixteen and thirty sat canoodling with a lover on the park benches
Indulged in free drinks with a Ukrainian artist at a hostel in Bucharest, Romania during the first sixty minutes of my 20th year as a human
Catalogued London’s diversity over the course of an hour-long and severely sleep deprived journey on the tube.
Witnessed a marriage proposal under the tree in Rockefeller Center
Sat, confused to the point of curiosity, on a flight from Belgrade to Vienna as everyone around me started conversations with the person next to them