The last two weeks were busy and intense -- filled with excitement and goodbyes and sadness. If you include floors and plane seats we've slept in nine different beds. Little Motorboat the cat was safely delivered to her temporary home in Mill Valley. The house was cleaned and the carpets steamed. The security deposit was returned. Both cars were sold -- (the van two hours before we left for the airport). The last belongings were packed away, given away and sadly, some were thrown away. Given more time we would have found more homes for more things, but there were some items Salvation Army wouldn't take, so our dumpster runneth over. It felt bad at the time to be throwing away some of the stuff that we did, but we simply ran out of time and friends who had room for anything else. I knew that somewhere there was someone who'd be happy to have what I was tossing.
Those feelings really sunk in when, on our first morning in Belgrade, we went to the local neighborhood outdoor market. In addition to beautiful fruit and vegetables, fresh eggs and homemade cheese, much of what was for sale was more worse for wear than the entire contents of my dumpster. There were parts of parts of old electronics, lone spoons, a TV antenna with one prong left. If something was found to have any life left in it, it was being resold and repurposed. No one would have known what I meant if I said that they were being "Green," and I doubt they would have cared much. They're just doing what it takes to make a living.
The dicotomy of things we covet, like wonderfully fresh, locally grown and crafted food, and the things we take for granted all in one place was striking.
Belgrade is a singular city: lively, confident, worldly, and also sentimental, gritty, even melancholy. We can't wait to see more.