Belgrade on a Monday Afternoon…


4 minute read

December 10, 2007

Are the terms “vacationing” and “travelling” synonymous?

Either way, I want to be relaxed yet stimulated, and I don’t want to have to make any tough decisions.

Today’s toughest decision: What do I listen to on my Ipod?


It seems today that every person on this planet has an Ipod, and we all use them to varying degrees.  I personally think an Ipod is best used as a time-passer or to make laborious tasks seem easier, like your morning ride on the subway, waiting in line at a government office, or your long flight to Paris…

But while travelling in another country, I find the Ipod to be essential in my daily wanderings around the city.

Today, for example, I took in much of downtown Belgrade, but before leaving I made sure I had my trusty Ipod.

The most intriguing part of using your Ipod while sightseeing is the mindset, outlook, and thoughts you find yourself left with when listening to a particular band or artist.

Whether you are an impressionable person or not, music has a certain way of guiding your subconscious.

I zipped up my jacket, turned on Green Day, and proceeded to walk the four kilometers to the centre of downtown.  Green Day is fast paced, catchy music that helped me achieve a very brisk pace as I walked up Knez Mihailova.

After a half hour or so, I switched to The Beatles, consisting mainly of Abbey Road and The White Album.  I veered off course from my downtown destination and gazed upon Saint Archangel Michael Cathedral Church.  While listening to the softer, almost nostalgic sounds of a band associated with the 1960’s, and simultaneously exploring the history and culture of a foreign land, I couldn’t help but think about all that has transpired in the former Yugoslavia and Eastern Europe in the past few decades—much of which took place before I was born.

I flipped over to The Ramones as I passed by the old Parliament buildings, and for a brief moment I felt like rebelling against authority and preaching a lackadaisical lifestyle, but I soon thought better of it…

I began listening to Pink Floyd but I realized it was slowing me down as I stoped every five minutes to create…

I then made a very crucial error in judgement while crossing a busy street….I turned to an album by Blink 182!  Though I only lasted through two songs, the damage had been done as I began to think about my ex-girlfriend and all the ways she had wronged me.  Then in a trance-like state of teen angst, I went into a local shop and bought a fitted Hurley cap.

As much as I enjoy hip-hop, I realized that it would be best if I allowed my friends to choose the music.  I can’t tell the difference between RZA and GZA, and I’m easily confused by DMX and Das EFX.  I skipped hip-hop altogether.

I passed by the Monument to Knez Mihailo Obrenovic while listening to Sublime, but for some odd reason, I turned and walked into Tasmadjan Park and layed down on the grass in a lazy and completely carefree manner.  I stared up at the clear blue sky and forgot all my wordly troubles, spent five minutes hysterically laughing at a chipmunk for no reason, and then gathered different shaped leaves that looked like people I knew, and put them in my backpack made of pure Hemp…

During the last kilometre towards downtown, I listened to a playlist of techno music consisting of various songs by ATB, DJ Kosmanova, Prodigy and others, and I soon found myself zooming down a moving walkway even though there really was none.  Perhaps the two espressos at the Cafe didn’t help either, as I must have looked like a cross between a character from “So You Think You Can Dance” and an Olympic Powerwalker while I ducked and weaved down the sidewalk bobbing my head and making subtle (and terrible) dance moves.

What trip through a person’s Ipod wouldn’t be complete without an eventual listen to something by U2?  I must say that while I have nothing against the band, it just didn’t leave me in a good mindset.  I just felt like I should be doing something….more.  More with my life, more to help others, and more to contribute to the world.  As I passed by the poor street vendors outside Trg Nikole Pasica, I considered the plight of mankind…

Well, I finally reached my destination, and sat down at a small restaurant for an authentic Serbian lunch…..chicken noodle soup and ravioli.  Forgive me for not being more adventurous…

While waiting for my meal, I found the perfect artist: Tom Petty.  How can anybody not love Tom Petty?  Perfect for all occasions, all people, and all places.  While scarfing down ravioli like I hadn’t eaten in a day, I repeatedly shouted “Yeaaaah I’m Freeeeee” loud enough for the whole restaurant to hear me (but I had my earphones in, so I didn’t know how loud I was), adding “Freeeee Faaaaallin” to complete the famous lyric to my favorite song.

I came out after lunch feeling like Corey Hart, but not daring to listen to “Sunglasses At Night” to save my life.  You see, it starts to get dark just after 3PM here in Belgrade, and the sun had completely set today by 3:47PM!

I walked through the area that the locals call “Sillicone Valley,” and it took me as many as three….four….maybe five and a half seconds to realize why the area got it’s name.  I have yet to see one ugly person in all of Serbia.  Even the 80-year-old homeless lady who threw cabbage at me in the alleyway looked like she could have been crowned “Miss Ibitha” in 1947.

After a few hours of taking photos of the sights, eating Serbian-Italian food, and rolling the dice on a few dress shirts I purchased (totally gorgeous, and a great price, but after 3-4 drycleanings will the material hold up??), I decided it was time to head back home.  Afterall, it was now 4:30PM, which has that 10PM feel to it.

The Offspring provided me with the same quick pace that Green Day did when I started my afternoon journey, and I was home before I knew it.

I probably walked about ten kilometers today, all at a brisk pace.  I think it’s time for a nap.  Who should sing me to sleep: Frederic Chopain or Sheryl Crow?

Yeah, I know.  The answer is obvious.

She has such a sweet, soothing voice…

Written By David Fleming

David Fleming is the author of Toronto Realty Blog, founded in 2007. He combined his passion for writing and real estate to create a space for honest information and two-way communication in a complex and dynamic market. David is a licensed Broker and the Broker of Record for Bosley – Toronto Realty Group

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