- New member
- From: Belgrade
- Registered: 2011-12-01
- Posts: 6
An evening out in Belgrade
In many ways Belgrade is a city of contrasts not the least of which being the anomaly that you can’t sit down in a church, unless you use the floor that is, and you can’t generally stand up in a bar/café to drink.
As I’m rarely seen frequenting church it’s not exactly a hardship but a place of worship without seats has a slightly odd ring to it. It’s hard to imagine a stressed churchgoer slipping inside for a moment’s quiet contemplation in the standing position.
I like to consider myself as a social drinker, with the main focus of the evening being on mingling, meeting a whole host of people at one venue.
Maybe it’s me but I tend to tire easily when subjected to an evening of round-a-table inertia. In my book static very often creates boredom. Also drinking in the vertical ensures there are no surprises when it comes to moving!
Last Friday evening saw me at a Belgrade Biker’s party, not that I’m a biker in the true sense of the word, mine has pedals and needs a human as a power source. When I arrived I was given a wrist band bearing the caveat that I should “drink responsibly” at the same time as giving me discounted prices, the first time I’d heard such a suggestion, were they concerned with the state of my finances or health. Either way why were they encouraging me by offering reduced prices? Is this in some way connected to the ban on sales of alcohol after 10pm? I found it slightly off-putting and reminded me of a trip to a restaurant in Vancouver some years ago where the menu had red hearts against certain items, apparently to warn people with a heart ‘condition’. Whatever that is, I always imagined that every part of your body had a condition, maybe the inverted commas make the difference? I’m not really sure why warnings should be limited to recreational activities, they should also be prominent on tax demands and inflation statistics!
As the evening progressed it became apparent that the two groups, a six-piece-all-‘girl’ band with the lake as their backdrop and a bass guitarist who was a dead ringer for a Mona Lisa look-alike competition and an all-male ensemble silhouetted against a giant aquarium, the inmates of which must have thought they were at the centre of a sound tsunami were involved in some sort of duel. It was vaguely reminiscent of the Banjo Duel scene from Deliverence. Both groups were trying to outdo each other and the “wall of sound” when they combined was quite staggering. The sheer volume from the boom boxes was sending a draught across the bar.
It has always amazed me how people can hold what appear to be perfectly normal conversations, or use their phones, against a deafening background of sound while I am desperately shouting into the cupped hand of my co-conversationalist. Or maybe my hearing is merely following the example set by my degenerating eyesight. And so I took my leave mindful of the health warning on my wrist band and the fact that I live on a hill. But if you like good music and a lake setting and are impartial to red shoes, check this place out, Friday night would be my recommendation….