People make a city. Their energy can trigger a vibrant cultural scene or encourage a burgeoning tourist industry. Those same people can make or break your experiences when visiting for the first time. Every interaction, from ticket inspectors to people on the street leaves a lasting impression that could be recalled to others when returning home. The people of Belgrade could be this city’s greatest asset, having left their indelible mark on my first visit to Serbia.
It is spring 1992 and Bosnia is on the eve of war. Oblivious to the encroaching danger, two friends Stevo and Ramiz play in the spring sunshine. They pretend to be pirates and look for treasure at a nearby abandoned hill fort. Instead of gold, they find guns which causes an argument between the friends, which mirrors the conflict moving ever closer to their door.
When Stevo discovers his father, a soldier in the Serb army, has instructions to kill Muslims in the village, he sneaks out to warn his friend – but is he too late?
I am not one to make New Year resolutions. All that talk about stopping smoking (I don’t anyway), joining the gym (I already tried that) or reducing alcohol (Hmm), it just doesn’t ring true for me. Until now, that is. As part of a new and positive approach, I am starting this blog. The World might not be a better place because of my posts but I want to share my opinions and insights on something that has made an impact on me and my life: Serbia and the Western Balkans. So, enjoy the trip and feel free to add feedback.