Like so many places, Belgrade is a city that seems to be negotiating its future, present, and past. You see it in the architecture–classic European, efficient Cold War, early 21st century cool, sometimes all in one block.
On a rainy afternoon, I’m taking a post-cappucino walk around the city centre, its cafes calling out for me to come in for another cozy hour of thinking and writing. I love the marriage of cobblestone and graffiti, the portrait artists hawking their goods right in front of the pristine art galleries, The Faculty of Philosophy, the corner cafes, and the expensive shops filled with suits and shoes, all in a sort of ongoing conversation in mortar and brick. We are this. And This. And this we were. And Still. But there will be something else.
I smile at the eruption of laughter behind me that interrupts a language I don’t understand. I watch the people, smoking over their coffees, flipping through titles in bookstores, deciding to go into a shop. I stare up at a building, the kind they don’t make any more, empty–I think–and perhaps not expected to be around much longer.
I take a picture. I keep walking, careful not to double back.
I don’t want to miss what I haven’t seen yet.