Sunday, August 2, 2009

Belgrade (am about a week behind)

Today I do very little, just lounge around in the youth hostel, which is appropriately called the Backpackers Lounge , as it feels a bit like being on the set of Friends, the furniture is very modern in design and open planned and people mill to and fro without any notices on the walls and it almost difficult to realise where people sleep, everything is tucked away from view. I stay out of the never ending 35 degree heat during the day, but later in the afternoon i walk over to the Hill Of Contemplation, on which sits the castle on a corner of a large bend in the Danube. People are walking and taking it easy and the air is still hot and sleepy. A bird flies down towards the river, off the side of the cliff. In line between the sun and my vantage the sun sparkles like flasbulbs in the water and behind me a pram rolls by, its sound deep and sonorous as a tram. In the distance, beyond the out and in left jab of the river, smoke rises into the sky and makes a deft wave as it breaks in the wind, and all around minor things make a happening.
I hear Slavic voices, passing behind me in ther opposite direction to the pram, their voices edged thick and thin in elegant origami, coming in and out of emphasis with the virtuosity of a caligrapher, the strokes easy, rhythmical and cordial, forming a blend like a mixture of cool water and warm apple juice.
On my way back, I meet a girl who is begging for money, the source of her monetary concern is her large belly, the baby within needing medicine. At first, I follow habit and actually not having money, I revert to my normal behaviour and discard her plea. However, on my journey, the main lesson I have learned is that you see a lot of goodness in people when you ask for things, upto this point in time I have received a lot for my "begging", in fact a princely sum. So, I go back to her (Ana) and we swap numbers and I agree to meet her the next day to give her the 15 euros she needs, and in a funny reward to me she gives me a packet of condoms. In the end, being me I leave it late and text her to meet me the next day, by which point she may well have got the money, I hope she did, but she doesnt return my call so I assume someone else helped her. The point is, though, that I learned that giving should be a matter of freeness and we should give well and without reserve, for we will also receive the same back in the end too, even though that is not the point of course.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading this one, liked the feel of heat and things happening slowly in the heaviness of the heat.