Thursday, July 27, 2006

Hit the button... no not that button!!!!

Well thankfully last night at 4am when I hit the wrong button, I was not in a bunker in North Korea and starting a war, it was just the night tram. But lets start at the beginning of the day. It was hot again in Belgrade, after my first day of wandering around in the heat, yesterday I decided to chill out at the hostel for most of the day. I did take a 2hr walk around the fortress near where we are staying and it was a good walk, including time at the Belgrade War/MIlitary Museum. But it was about 34 degrees, so I lasted only 2hrs before running back inside. Thankfully the hostel has AC, one of the first and few ones I have been in that has AC. It also has a huge mp3 collection, huge DVD and Video CD collection, so sitting around drinking beer and watching the best of South Park episodes is not a bad way to waste time, with a group that includes Aussies, another American from NYC, Dutch, French girls who have walked from Sarajevo to here, Italians who cooked spaghetti alla carabonara, and what not. Definately one of the better hostels in terms of staff and fun crowd, I am already done with my 2 nights I booked in advance and with the cheap prices here I might stay another 2 nights.

The Belgrade War Museum was eye opening, basically this region of the world has been constantly at war for 4000 years and has been conquered by EVERYONE. Currently the people are very happy that they are their own country, even recently kicking off Montengero into their own country. I was not suppose to take pictures, but since I was the only person there I did and some are really cool showing weapons from all the way back to now. I now have a better understanding of the city, the nation and how much conflict it has endured over the years. The fortress is very cool, its is a lush park and just walking around you find things you didnt know where there including a Cinema Cafe that shows movies and films on a big screen with a simply amazing view of the city from up high. Managed to have an afternoon beer there. Also food-wise yesterday was good, between the Italian guy here cooking everyone a meal, and also going out to buy basically a heart attack on a plate, it was ham, pork and cheese melted inside of a crusty bread bun, delicious for sure. Hopefully I will put back the belt size I have lost since traveling around here..

Nighttime was the righttime, at first it looked like it was going to be another missed night. Tuesday night we went out in a posse of 9, and the first place we went to was empty, only stayed 1 round. Then walked over to another of the barges parked on the Saba river where all the fun is, it was starting to get crowded about 1am, and some of the people were having fun.. I guess I was in a cranky mood, cause when I ordered a beer and payed with a 1000 DINER note(about 15 USD), they told me they didnt have change and wanted to charge me more for the beer since they were short, finally they got the extra change, but again the principal of that pissed me off. I couldnt imagine going out in the city and paying with a 20 only to be told sorry you drink will cost twice as much cause we dont have change.. Around 1:30am I decided to leave on my own to search out some places I had written down, well I struck out, walking all the way across the old bridge to the city only to find all the places closed.. In the summer Belgrade nightlife is very hit or miss, alot of people are on vacation and away, so places that are rocking in the fall/winter are vacent and close up. So last night knowing what I knew, after we struck out the first time and it was pushing 1am, the posse had dwindled in size and I just wanted to goto the Sava barges. Took a cab over there and thankfully met a cool Serbian guy, at first I was reclultant to go with him, but the place was playing good hip-hop and it was packed they werent letting anyone in. He managed to talk to the staff and got our posse of 6 in. AN hour later, when I was getting into my groove listening to Jay Z, Snoop Dogg, Tribe, and assorted Hip-Hop, the other 5 wanted to leave well I knew my lesson, when you find something good stuck with it.. So I stuck with it till closing time at 4am. Definately had fun, and the local guy has my email, so maybe he will contact me and let me know where the good party is, cause you simply cant trust the guides or internet sites, everything changes on a daily basis and having a local is the most helpful.

Trying to figure out my next destination, I really do want to goto Croatia, but with the prices here so good and already after 7 days in Varna, I am the 3 shades darker that I wanted I might just hit Zagreb for a day, but hostel availabilty is tough and then head to Slovenia. My italian friend is away and having problem with his dads health and in Silicy, so he might not be able to meet me in Trieste which is tough as I wanted to see him after 2 years, but naturally his family is more important than just having a coffee and drink with me.. But if Belgrade heats up on Thursday night, I really have no reason to leave as I am at a cool hostel and the cheap prices is helping my budget, as I am dreading just the 1 day in Germany, and while in Oslo I have a place to stay, knowing a beer at a pub is 9 bucks versus the 2 or 3 bucks here, the longer here is better. Alright enjoy your day, I got in at 4:30am and its 9am, so its back to sleep for me...

Oh yeah as for the button story, so after leaving the club/barge I knew I could walk home, but I saw the trams running on the bridge so I went to the tram stop. After about 4 empty ones passed by without stopping I asked the guys at the stop what the deal was, they said the main depot was close and the trams were just leaving to goto their first stop to start their routes later on. I asked if anything was running and they were like its hit or miss.. so as I start to walk off to go over the bridge the tram stops, we all pile on. Now this was not the number 11 that would have dropped me off right in front of my hostel, but this was the number 7. I asked where it went and they said well for me, just cross the river and then get off.. So it crosses the river and I am standing at the door waiting for it to make a stop, I guess since only 5 of us were on it, the driver wasnt stopping unless it was requested.. so I asked the guys how to get off, they said push the button, well in most other cities pushing the red button is to ask for a stop. So I push the red button the guys scream no not that button the black button well its too late, turns out the red is the emergency stop button, the tram screeches to a stop, the lights go out, and then the door opens.. I am like oh damn I broke it, but thankfully after I stumble off, the tram keeps on going.. So its not broke and I have learned my lesson...

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