Back to School with Belgrade Book(im)mobiles
It’s officially “back to school” time in Belgrade. Ada is thinning out, the heat wave has broken, and the bookstores are filled with annoyed parents and listless students. It’s pretty similar to September in the States, with the exception of bookmobiles lining the streets.
Unlike U.S. bookmobiles, these vans sell rather than lend. I’m not sure if they offer used books or simply cheaper ones. I only know that they are sprouting up like weeds. Weeds that never move from their parking spaces. Some of these vans, like the orange one in the background of the photo above, have been parked there since November. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t even run.
It’s been a long time since I had to buy schoolbooks, but I’ve never been able to shake the feeling of the first week of school: the sadness that summer is over, the dread of going back to a boring routine, the panic of using a graphing calculator. I always liked buying the supplies, though. I would convince myself that the perfect binder and pens would make me an organized, straight-A student. And it would work, too…for about three weeks. I still don’t know how to use that graphing calculator.
Good luck to all the Beogradjani students this year, and congratulations to all the parents who might have a little more freedom…