Sunday, 15 June 2008

Life on Shakespeare Street, Novi Sad

I'm living on Šekspirova, close to Balzakova, Tolstojeva, Lermontova, Danila Kiša and Antona Čehova. Yes, the literary quarter. And to demonstrate it, the towerblock next to mine is liberally danbed with graffiti, which of course I cannot understand, but it has artistic flair, at least in the layout.

But as far as towerblocks go, these are in the superior range, clean and neat, with lots of trees in front, behind and separating each block. I have a huge poplar tree which rustles protectively just outside my balcony.

On the other side of the main boulevard at the end of Šekspirova is a large park and beyond that, is the Strand, an enormous green park with cafes and play areas for children, and its edge is literally a strand - a sandy beach on the Danube shore. People lie and sunbathe here and paddle in the slightlz brownish water. The Danube is immense, like a lake on the move. In Dora d'Istria's essay on the Serbs, which I'm going to translate here, she says "Your Western rivers are like mere streams compared to this huge waterway which begins at the German border and flows thruogh many countries with a lengh of 2200 kilometers, before dividing into five and emptying into the Black Sea."

A couple of days ago I traveled here from Ohrid, Macedonia, a journey which took 16 hours with an hour's wait at Skopje and half an hour at Niš and three quarters of an hour at Belgrade. When I asked Emilije how long it would take form Skopje to Belgrade she thought perhaps five or six hours. But actually, it was eight. This was partly because the roads from Skopje to Niš were one lane and wound through various small towns and partly because of the delay at the border. As we left Macedonia all passports were collected by the bus driver and taken away to be scrutinized. Once this was completed, the driver came back, shouted out people's names and returned the passports. Among all the Blaskovitches, Ivanovitches and Sudarovaskas, I wondered how he'd cope with mine. In the past, I haven't recognized the Smeet that bus drivers or immigration officers have called out and its taken several Smeets before I realise its me they're referring to. But when it came to mine, he called out Morella, so that was easy.

1 comment:

rockdanceo said...

Hi Morelle, I am trying again.

Of course I find "Life on Shakespeare Street, Novi Sad" very, interesting.