Saturday, May 25, 2013

a new hat in belgrade

in april 2007 i flew to belgrade, ostensibly on my way to dubrovnik, but for many reasons belgrade seemed the best port of entry that year. friends fetched me at the airport, and we went directly into town for a late lunch. or did we go directly to their apartment? ah...hindsight tells me i was taken directly to the apartment for lunch and many liters of wine. the weather was perfect, and by that i mean warm (at least 70 degrees) and a portion of blue sky. the apartment was in the old quarter, near the danube. evening rolls around and its time to go out for drinks. there is a main esplanade in belgrade....and this is where we sat, drinking even more wine. but that isnt what i am writing about. the next day i was on my own as my hosts had something boring to tend to. i dont recall if it was a family obligation or otherwise, but knowing i was a talented traveler, they left me on me own. and i went out walking and found myself in what i thought was a district similar to where we had been the day before. the river was in sight. but was it the danube or the sava? we will never know, but i went walking and turned into a narrow old, tattered dorfman blew off my head, and several locals went to fetch it for me, yet simultaneously ushering me into another narrow lane....this was, i later found out, the gypsy or roma quarter. these wonderful roma took me to their cousin's haberdashery and within minutes i had a new hat for only a handful of serbian coins!! even another lunch of lamb livers and red wine soon followed...i long to return to belgrade!

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