Tag Archives: view

Updating Belgrade

The bombed buildings of Belgrade: first stop on every bus tour of the city.
Eerie skeletons of former Yugoslavia, bearing the scars of the ‘NATO aggressors.’
Fascinating historical landmarks with big gaping holes through which one could see crumbling staircases, wiring stripped bare, and yes, the odd tree branch growing through the rubble.
Tony Blair called them a health hazard and insisted they be torn down.

The former Yugoslav Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Internal affairs, situated on a busy main street, and a staple view of my daily bus route to work.

IMG_3859

IMG_3858

These buildings were bombed by NATO in 1999 and left, untouched, ever since. They serve as…a reminder? A statement perhaps? Or maybe there just wasn’t enough money or bureaucratic motivation to ever do anything about them. Anyway you put it; these buildings are one of the highlights of any trip to the Serbian capital. Grim, dark, morbid, and utterly unique.

Today, as I rode the bus home, sweating through my teacher-appropriate blouse and inwardly grumbling about the lack of personal space in Serbian culture I looked up to find that one of these dubious cultural institutions had been covered foundation-to-roof by an enormous advertisement. The broken bones and gut-rot of Serbian victimhood had finally been hidden away, and, judging by the newly landscaped front lawn, soon to be replaced by an updated space for a city that desperately needs updating.

I suppose even in the the Balkans one can’t hold on to the past forever.

The View

Monsoon Season

roof with a view
roof with a view

It’s hard to look at more than my feet lately.  I’ve spent the last three days with my face tilted forward, not towards my smartphone, but towards my feet and the murky puddles on all sides.  You see, it is monsoon season in Mumbai, and I am new to this.  Today I worked on keeping my chin up, scanning for puddles in the distance.  Planning.  Someday, I think, I will walk effortlessly down this uneven sidewalk, dodging puddles and people with the grace of That French Woman that Kate talks about, perfectly placing each black stiletto heel on the welded metal joints of a Parisian Metro grate.

Someday.

Until then, this is what I saw when I did  look up… a couple views from my first three days in Mumbai.

Good morning
Good morning
every morning the pigeons wait for my neighbor to wake up and feed them breakfast
kitchen window – every morning the pigeons wait for my neighbor to wake up and feed them breakfast
South Mumbai from the rooftop, today's latest discovery
South Mumbai from the rooftop, today’s latest discovery