Local Affairs - Slavija

13 November 07

Ten years ago, a couple of artists from my neighborhood drew a Superman logo on a wall in front of which they spent days drinking beer after beer and discussing what a splendid thing it is to be an artist. “S” in a diamond stands not only for the world renowned superhero, but also for Slavija, a less renowned neighborhood in central Belgrade.

Slavija is how we refer to the north-east part of Savski Venac municipality. Most of the kids who grew up there attended Petar Petrović Njegoš elementary school and later grew up to become unemployed.


Back in the day, kids between different schools kept getting in fights. Once a year, after a few kids got jumped or knifed, entire upper classes of two elementary schools would organize a fight. They would gather stones, metal bars, and a few ex-pupils who were now in high-school, and then start fighting each other in a school yard. Kept them off the streets. Eventually, cops would come and beat up the victors.


Football was popular in my neighborhood. However, there was very little green to play a match, so rough asphalt had to do. I never liked football and I only played as a goalie for my school team.

The worst part about it was when somebody else was playing in their yard and the ball would get kicked out to the sidewalk. I, as a bystander, was expected to return the ball. If I picked it up and threw it, I would end up a wuss. So, I kicked it back. And 9 times out of 10 it would end up in an even less favorable position, like somebody’s window.


Seen the kids who offer to wait in line for visas at the German embassy in exchange for a small fee? That was us, and probably still is – the perks of living in the capital city.

Also, I hear that selling spray paint cans to first-graders is frowned upon today.


Firecrackers make for a well known militaristic atmosphere in the city in December and January.

Blown off fingers became a common thing among the kids, so they had to discover a new way to entertain themselves: if you shake a beer can, and throw it into a wall hard enough, it will explode. During the New Year’s eve, beer is plenty and windows are open. Beer also explodes if it hits a living-room floor.


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I suspect that some people will want to know more about the author of this blog. However, as my topic of writing is usually not of very personal nature, I find it inappropriate to write about personal things, say: hobbies, my pets or particularly bad ways in which girls refused me.


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