"So, where do you come from?", asks the taxi driver, taking a sharp right turn while lighting his cigarette. For some reason taxi drivers in Belgrade don't really care as much about traffic rules as other people do, red lights are not always as red as they should be, stop signs are not that important. I think his name is Nešha, that's at least what the nameplate says - right next to the Barça sticker, which looks quite old to me. "I'm from Luxembourg" I tell him, trying to ignore the folk music and the passenger who almost got hit by my new Serbian friend. The yellowish lights shine through the window as we're crossing the the Branko bridge in direction of Zeleni Venac, the city center of Belgrade.
Belgrade, my new home for a couple of weeks by now. Even if I have the feeling of having settled in pretty well, there are still things that strangely amaze me. Just like Nešha, who just doesn't give a damn. I think it's some kind of Balkan mentality not to care too much, which - at least for me - is very impressive and also inspiring. This doesn't mean that people are disrespectful towards each other, it's quite the opposite. People seem to be very kind and helpful, they try to communicate with you even if they're struggling. I appreciate this, as my Serbian is pretty bad, I'm glad if I manage to order something in the bakery. But this will improve during time, I guess.
"We are there, it is 570 Dinar", Nešha tells me in his broken english, looking for change in his pocket as I give him a 1000 Dinar bill. I feel so rich in Belgrade, I always have so many bills, even if they're not worth that much. Atleast I'm spared with coins. Nothing is more bothering than coins. I get out of the taxi, heading towards the republic square, passing at least 1000 exchange offices. Serbians love exchange offices. If they could, they would all own their own private exchange office. Or a bakery. After a couple of minutes walking - the center of Belgrade is pretty small actually - I've reached the statue of Prince Mihailo on the horse.
Our meeting point...