03 February 2008

Greetings from Serbia - A Gilded Cage

I had myself a pretty nice and fairly boring Sunday. Went to Mass to the "English language" church whose priest, while now different from the ridiculously thick-accented french priest of my previous visits, was a ridiculously thick accented Italian so soft spoken that, especially with the interference of the bad sound system, I could barely understand. And while he did manage to remind everyone that Wednesday was Ash Wednesday, he neglected to say when Mass would be-if there would indeed be one. Sigh; I shall get up and got the the 7 AM Mass at the Serbian church (ironically I understand about as much of that Mass as I do the "English" one). Gotta get myself ashed,and remember not to make any major appointments with the Embassy, the relator, or any lawyers for Wednesday...

So my gilded cage...today was the second round elections for Serbia's president. As mentioned previously, the favorite to win after the first round was the challenger, Tomislav Nikolic (whose painful smile in his campaign posters brings to mind a serial killer) of the Radical Party. I've spent all weekend with my friends here listening to their dire predictions of a return to life as it was in the 90's in Nikolic won. Wondering if they should go out and buy Euros so as to avoid the inevitable devaluation of the dinar. During the 90's the inflation here was so bad that Serbia was printing bills that were for an unbelievable 50,000,000,000, yes 50 Billion, dinars. My friend still has some and promises to show me his collection. Especially because radical Nikolic was so favored my friends advised me to stay in, or at least close to my hotel, for as much of today as possible. Perhaps they were overreacting but as I had no desire to repeat the deep twinges of nerves I experienced in a crowd of 25,000 people angry at America, I took their advice. Actually I didn't mind so much. I booked myself into a suite here this time and it's really lovely. The first hotel room I had here actually scared me. I didn't think it advisable to put my bare feet on the floor, the bathroom door didn't close, the walls were incredibly thin, and I could never really work the door lock. The second was better (and in the same hotel where I'm currently staying), but was small and very, well, in need of serious refurbishment. Now however, nary a complaint from me:

So as you can see, it wasn't so bad spending a day in my gilded cage. Heck, they can keep me here for the entire six months of this program for all I care!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Very nice Moglie! Well done!