I haven’t posted to the blog for almost two years now. I am not happy about that, but at one point I started feeling like there is no space in the blogosphere left for this particular blog. I was mostly covering political and social issues in Serbia and I tried to write about it the way I perceived it: with just the right distance to both take it personally and be able to see the dynamic with which social and political relations were shaping in Serbia.
My first post on this blog was in May of 2006 and I was active writing it until June 2008. Looking back at this time span, I was optimistic. Serbia was set back, culturally, politically and economically tremendously during the 1990s, and I felt I was living in a recovering nation. I was well aware of how fucked up things were and how far Serbia was from the society I wanted it to be. But I was a good sport about it: I felt that through this blog I can contribute to improving the humanity. That sounds like something a Miss Universe candidate may say, but if I could influence at least one person to look at problems with more humor, that one person would certainly be a better member of the society.
For example, I wrote about having to deal with Serbian bureaucracy I exaggerated a little in that article, but I honestly tried to make the best of that miserable experience. Somewhere along the lines though, I lost the stomach for dealing with unhelpful people.
For example, some months ago I tried to pay my bills at the post office (yeah, we pay bills at the post office) using a 20 dinar coin. The clerk just gave me the coin back and told me something along the lines: “That’s no good”. Upon seeing my “WTF” expression, she told me that on that Monday they stopped accepting currency with “Yugoslavia” written on them and that I could exchange it for new coins.
I am sure everybody can see an excellent blog post here: a clerk, at the government owned and operated Post Office, notifies a member of general population that they stopped accepting currency which was valid only a day ago. But, I couldn’t find that particular battle. It felt like a waste of my time and I didn’t want to send the clerk lady home after work worrying about having to deal with uncooperative clients. I felt no ounce of creativity at the moment and the only thing I wanted was to get the hell out of there.
Or, maybe you remember my dealings with people with no sense for living in a community
There was time when I understood those people. But, this winter we had some record snow falling. Belgrade was covered in snow, but more worryingly, many people in remote mountain villages got cut off from the rest of the world – without supplies, fuel for heating, access to doctors, etc.
My mind was with those people, but most Belgraders felt entitled to clean sidewalks and were only concerned about why the snow cleaning services failed so miserably at their job. Instead of taking shovels into their hands and freeing up city services to go help stranded people, they bitched about the lack of competence of people whose job is to clean the snow.
The sensible thing, in that situation, seemed to borrow a shovel an start cleaning my own sidewalk. So I did. And not before long I heard somebody yelling from the second floor: “Hey, neighbor, why don’t you drop some salt on that ice?”
I politely replied that I had no salt, to which I was instructed: “The guys from the city left some salt in the basement, why don’t you fetch it?”. I said my hands were full with shoveling and that I didn’t have the key to the basement. To that the helpful neighbor replied: “Really, you can’t even be bothered to fetch the salt?”
She closed her window and, presumably, got back to sipping her cocoa. I got back to shoveling snow.
Again, instead of turning on my computer and blogging about it, I just felt like shit.
But not as badly as I felt last night when I saw the election results, but hopefully, more about that in a day or two…