Someone says ‘I love you’ to someone else on a mobile and up and down the train carriage little messages of encouragement and protection flutter by which are offered as a way of saying ‘take care of yourself through the forthcoming day as you never know what’s around the corner’. The hidden but frequently visible primaeval anxiety of the unknown – wrapped in that little message of “take care…” followed by “and you…”
J tells me of the Macdonalds restaurant in Belgrade where staff handed out hundreds of free burgers during the civil unrest and the student gatherings in Belgrade round about the time of the NATO bombing. Never thought I’d say it but hurrah for Macdonalds and their staff.
We stop off at the Sanctuary, a pub opposite a famous church so named as it protected the artists, leftists and radicals from the police: a secular place which is just a stones throw from the spiritual sanctuary offered by the church. They were always left alone apart from when Milosovic was in power who then cracked down on them.
I can see why if you were a young firebrand all the bombings and corruption and edginess of it would appeal: a rock and roll life style for those with no musical ability or talent – the X Factor with balls guts and high stakes – and where things matter more, are more heightened, have a greater intensity than the living of your life in a progression of civil obedience and decorum. Or as a member of a boy band for that matter.