Read, Write, Run, Roam

Journeys and Destinations: a Serbian Road Trip

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that life is a journey, not a destination. But if RWE had been in Serbia, he’d say that Serbian journeys are its life, and the destination is just icing on the cake. We drove from Belgrade to Budapest and back this weekend, and between bad weather and road detours, we got glimpses of Serbian life outside of Belgrade.

First, there was the horse-drawn cart. On a major road.

As cute/interesting/funny as this is, I’ve become a bit immune to it. We’ve seen this a few times, and sometimes in major cities. (Not in Belgrade though-yet). Besides, nothing can top this guy.

Then there’s sight number two, that reminds me of the year that I was really into Archie comic books. (And no, I’m not 50.) Archie’s car was constantly called “a jalopy” and I remember thinking that jalopy was a funny word, and what on earth was a jalopy anyway? Archie just had an old car.

This is a jalopy:


I couldn’t see the duct tape, but I’m pretty sure it was there. Also, I love that the bicycle looks as big as the car. I guess it will come in handy when the hamster wheel in the engine falls out. Sigh. I secretly like this car, and the owner. He’s obviously not a quitter.

Then, we had to come to a sudden stop to let someone herd his cows. Across E-75. The major North-South highway in Serbia.

I must confess, this was a first for us, and quite a surprise. Cattle drives along back roads wouldn’t be shocking. But E-75 is practically the Jersey Turnpike. When was the last time you saw cows crossing the Jersey Turnpike? (There’s a terrible Jersey Shore joke here, but I’m too ladylike to type it.)

Obviously, these are mere highlights. Rural towns may not be fancy, but they’re not as backward as these pictures might suggest. I haven’t shown you the BMWs and Mercedes that are constantly whizzing by us. (I’m jealous like that.) But I will show you our final sight this weekend: an adorable parade of kids in costume that held up “traffic” in Lovćenac, population 3,700.

Ralph Waldo Emerson had a good idea, but I think Don Williams, Jr. stated it best: our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.


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