December 19th 2022
On the rideshare into Serbia, I was passenger to the worst driving I have ever experienced. A 40-50 something Serb, with a short, slicked back grey ponytail who was returning from a 2-day tango dance workshop in Romania, was not the best mascot for Serbian excellence. Driving in the middle of the road or often on the wrong side when it was empty, using two hands on phone and nudging the wheel went it got near the edge, almost hitting a curb straight on, overtaking before a blind summit, the list goes on.
It got me thinking about death and probability. Imagine if we all had a little number above our head that showed the probability of death of the activities we are currently doing. When was that number at it's highest for you? With road traffic accidents being the top 20th cause of death in most countries, on that journey, did my probability hit a new high?
Into Belgrade (actually Beograd, beo= white, grad = city), and more preconceptions were shattered. Everywhere I would expect English to not be present in Hungary, it was here. No shady feelings. Other than the awful behaviour of drivers, Belgrade feels perfectly European.
The new city is where Belgrade feels most unique. Built from scratch during the soviet era on swampland, it is a suburb made up entirely of squares and numbered blocks. However, right next door there are dozens of newly built, modern skyscrapers in all sorts of strange shapes and colours.
Tomorrow I will leave Belgrade, and Serbia generally, and head to the country that this trip has really be centered around. Guesses?