expat blogger

living in Serbia

Friday, October 8, 2010

Things you might like to know about living in Serbia

If you are from the "New World" or the west, life in Serbia will be a bit of a shock in many ways.  Things that are considered normal or at least standard may not even exist in some parts of Serbia. If you are in a big city life will be closer to what you are accustomed to, but it is still the "Old World".

I do not say this with any malice. I am looking forward to stepping back into a more relaxed lifestyle. Taking lots of coffee breaks with friends and seeing family. There is something to be said for the way the old life has been preserved. 

Here are some examples  of what I mean.
In the west, washers are accompanied by driers. Often they come in a set. This is not the case in many European countries, not just Serbia. People still hang out the clothes to dry. I actually love this.  In the winter, I just hang my clothes inside on the heating elements. I do miss how soft the clothes get in the dryer. Towels are always a bit crunchy. :(

Most businesses are closed on Sunday. This means there is still a day of rest, unlike in the US, where capitalism has eclipsed the need for a break.

I love that in Belgrade, parents do not have to worry about someone kidnapping their children as they do in the states. In that way it is a bit more civilized. Outside of a new grocery store in New Belgrade there is a playground for kids. Parents can shop inside while the kids play.

The food is wonderful. But it will take some time to adjust to it. Women do most of the work of preparing, and cleaning up. The men do most of the sitting and talking. I would compare it to the US about 50 to 100 yrs ago. The men are not lazy, they are working hard cutting wood, hunting and providing in other ways. This is the life of the country folks. In the city I am sure it is a bit more modern a lifestyle.

Most people I know who travel from west to east take along their hair products. I take shampoo and conditioner. The quality of the products does down and the price goes up!

I will continue on this topic soon! Thanks for reading.


Sheila Lamb said...

I love the fact kids can play on the playground with few worries. Are the women content with the division of labor or do people want changes?

Linda said...

I love what you have written here, and can't wait until I, too, can be a vagabond and live part time in both America and Belgrade. I think for the most part, you are correct about your observations of the lifestyle there especially about the children being safe. However, I do disagree with the division of labor in a way, for I think it depends on where in Serbia you are and how old you are. Most of my male friends who are in their 30's cook and clean and help out around the house, so times are changing there, but slowly, that is for sure.