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.
Belgrade, the most interesting city that never turns out photogenic in my photos so I have to use other people’s. Belgrade, the only city I was sure I’d end up living in at some point, but I now realize it’ll probably never happen and I don’t know what to think of it. Belgrade, the city that has played with my head more than any other (ever will). Belgrade, the city that was and wasn’t, is and isn’t, will and won’t be home.
Reading Momo Kapor’s A Guide to the Serbian Mentality late at night reminds me of everything I’m not doing in Belgrade but could be. The most wonderfully uncomplicated things like syncing my heartbeat with the city’s at Terazije and wandering aimlessly around Vračar are so far away right now that soaking up the book too often only makes me feel anxious. A collection of vignettes about Belgrade and its character, it’s so sincere that reading it in English has almost the same effect as reading Kapor in his original Serbian.
One of my best friends is currently in New York. Although it’s been more than a year since I’ve lived there, I don’t envy her. After my return I used to panic over not being (in every sense of the word) there any more. Gradually I’ve grown to realize I don’t have to worry about anything: the bond I have with this city will take care of my coming back when the time is right again.