You Only Have 7 Seconds to Make a First Impression

This is what I was always told and if I had used this rule for my first 7 seconds judgment of Serbia it would not be getting a very good write-up. Stern looking unfriendly border guards precisely matched my mental stereotype of a Serb. My mental processing immediately raised the “don’t ever trust a Serb” flag.

I did not help my own cause by standing by the side of the guard-house  to eat a banana and then completely forgetting what I was doing, blatantly throwing the banana skin into a bush in front of two policemen. Try saying “But it will decompose officer” in Serbian.

Perhaps we should say “You only have 7 hours to make a first impression” because my first 7 hours have given me a great impression. The people are completely nuts; they shout friendly remarks in the street as I cycle through villages. An old man jumps into the street and starts waving his finger in the direction I am going shouting “Novi Sad, Novi Sad” my next destination.

There is so much energy , confidence and character in the people. They have arrogance, swagger and focus which remind me much of my first times in Buenos Aires. Their hospitality has been such that my inherent British suspicion switch has been put to the ‘on’ position. I fight this though as I do not think it is justified.  They bring free pancakes, hand write notes to help in Serbian, approach on the street asking if lost, bring coffee and seem almost desperate to be hospitable.

In my attempt to capture a day’s first impression this is the list of words and phrases I scribbled. I will paint my own picture just using these for now since if I structure too much I will have somehow lost the spark of first impression immediacy.

Village Life, Olive skin, Darker complexion, Black hair, rubbish dumping,  colorful, markets, more hills, poor road surface at edges, smiling, waving, inquisitive, not afraid, drinking beer, dogs and more dogs, lively, Hospitality, coffee, great food, Imagine Turkey to be more like this, shawled older women, language makes no sense, new alphabet, bomb destruction, young, smart dressed young (Italian styles), big sunglasses, well-built me, tall, deep voices, Novi Sad Fort, churches, art, music,

As I cycle down the hill overlooking Novi Sad Fortress I decide in an instant that I  want to come back to this place for the next ‘Exit Festival’ – I can’t imagine anything much wilder than dancing around a giant fortress with a bunch of crazy Serbians off their heads.

Photos of The Pertrovaradin Fortress without Party Animals

Fortress Before Shot

Fortress Before

Space for photos of  The Pertrovaradin Fortress with Party Animals……


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