Keep calm, it's complicated with Srbija1. Belgrade emanates a constant feeling of conflict. I think it’s one of the main reasons why this city is never boring, although I’m unable to pinpoint what the conflict actually is, nor do I have any idea if Belgraders feel the same; I also don’t know whether the source of the conflict is the fact that somehow it’s (always) “complicated with Serbia” or it’s exclusive to Belgrade.

2. Most of the more expensive cars in Belgrade have tinted windows. Every time I see a car with tinted windows somewhere else, I automatically assume it has Belgrade license plates.

3. All Belgrade streets smell of the same perfume, but I have yet to catch it on a particular person. This way it’s everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Who knows what it would smell like on me?

4. Although I’ve been to Belgrade quite a few times, I know there are large parts of it that are still completely unknown to me. “Parts” meant not (only) as locations but experiences. I also think it’s impossible to live through all of them in one lifetime. Belgrade is vast (metaphorically).

5. My favorite thing to do in Belgrade is to go to the Kalemegdan Fortress at night and watch the lights of New Belgrade across the river. I never stay long, just a couple of minutes, but this view is probably why I’ll be returning to Belgrade all my life.

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5 comments

  1. what a beautiful post about Belgrade! it sounds to me like you captured the essence of it in some way… that smell you are describing, i know it well, it’s like Chanel 5 but lighter and more fruity, at least I think of it that way :D
    and as a matter of fact, you could purchase it from an old man who had a perfume shop, he was mixing his own, one of those old-fashioned perfumers, it was further down towards Zvezdara, on what used to be Bulevar Revolucije, I don’t know if he is still there..
    But that fragrance is the strongest after the rain, as if the city itself wears the perfume.
    ah, the memories… :))
    conflict and tension exists in every large city, and buddhists say that tension is necessery to create balance. Belgrade is a Balkan metropolis, and it contains the heritage of many different cultures, but also retains some of that Balkan aggression,where people speak loudly, gesticulate a lot, it is that typical high expressed emotion that many Southern nations have.
    but I found New York and London to have that same feeling of conflict and tension, so I do think it is something that just happens in environments with so many souls living in it

    1. I’m stunned that someone other than myself recognizes the smell too, with such things there’s always high “danger” of them being only a fragment of your imagination. Not to mention your description fits the smell to a T. The closest perfume to it is Chanel Chance Eau Tendre (the pink one), but it’s really something of its own, very particular.

      I’ll ask around and try to find out if that man is still there the next time I’m in Belgrade. I so hope he is.

  2. I was amazed when I saw you wrote about it too :D I thought it’s a secret that Belgrade shared just with me (read: I thought I imagined it :))
    If you find the perfumery, I hope you’ll write a post about it! and I will go there and get a litre of that scent (to last me a lifetime :)), I have been missing it for almost 20 years, but I can still smell it in my nostrils every time I think about it

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