expat blogger

living in Serbia

Monday, February 7, 2011

NS: the sprain ~ featuring bus window fotographs

I know this is a little backwards, but I am posting the end of my trip to NS. This is a reproduction of  a letter I sent home upon my return.
The graffiti in red at the bottom of the photograph says,  "delije". This is the name of the most passionate Red Star football club fans.  I took this through the bus window. Didn't notice the graffiti till later when looking at the photos.

I went to NS to visit a fellow expat, S. and had a wonderful week with her and met another new expat friend J. who works as a Ballet Dancer in the Serbian Ballet.
After my great trip, I had a very exciting adventure on the way home.
I had twisted my ankle on my way to meet J, and was intending to care for it on the way back home on the bus, by stretching my leg across the seats... it didn't work the way I planned.

After my wonderful week in Novi Sad, I hobbled my luggage into the bus station. This was easier than I feared it would be. Thanks to S's map, and a nice, honest cab driver I found my way into the station with no problem.

I asked in Serbian for my ticket and and made my way to the peron or platform where my bus waited. The ride to Beograd was packed no room to put my foot up, and the ride from BG to Knjazevac would have been less so, but we picked up passengers from a bus that broke down on the hwy.
View of Belgrade from the bus window. This is the Sava River.
Then one of the guys on the bus was sick. I am still not sure what was wrong with him. I thought I smelled alcohol on him. But the guy beside me said it might be his heart, who knows? He was sitting right in front of me. I could see everything. Sometimes he was reacting as if he was having a seizure.... we had to stop the bus three times for him to puke. The fourth time we had to stop the bus at a gas station to have an ambulance meet us to care for him. Everyone waited and we were in the parking lot for over 30 Min! it seems crazy to me. Nice that one person is so important in this culture, but, odd to me.
a view of the ambulance through the dirty bus window

The sick fella was an older Roma or a gypsy, and was treating his wife poorly even though she was doing her best for him. I am sure that is the same across the board, Gypsy or not. I mostly disappointed in how women are treated here.
another pic through the bus window. No idea what river this is.

After my long ordeal in the bus coming home, I found Milan waiting for me at the bus station. He had been waiting with Mama for an hour at the hospital with our cousin, The ER doctor. What a nice surprise. Mama's friend is the x-ray tech so he was waiting too.
This hospital visit was amazingly smooth and fast and no even a little expensive! I was shocked! not your typical Serbian experience. (I know firsthand having gone with family members to the hospital here.)

X-rays show no break, just a bit of a sprain.  I am not allowed to put weight on my foot. and have a strange kind of cast. It only covers the back and sides of my foot and leg up to my knee. to keep it stable. It has a gauze type of wrap that goes all the way around my leg, and it is all covered up, accept my toes. I have to have the cast for a week, and then we will go from there.

The nurses and doctor were all having a good time with me, and my broken Serbian, but they were pleased I knew as much as I do. Everyone was so funny. I am sure me being a novelty American/ family member made work a bit more interesting.

I know this is not the usual experience. But Milan was like, "see it wasn't bad".... I was thinking, because we are family and Mama knows people! I am not stupid. This is not normal, even for America!

Side note: I think it is good I am so friendly. The cousin doctor was so helpful. I am sure it doesn't hurt that I visit her Mom in the village when I take walks.

On my way out of the hospital I thanked the doctor for not having to dishes for a week. Of course I am joking. I have been washing some. I can not stand the mess.

As  I was typing just now the phone rang, and I am so happy I don't have to answer it!!  I still hate phone charades in Serbian. There are some advantages to this sprain! :)

Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment! I love to hear what you think. And have a great day.

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