Thursday, April 9, 2009

Letter From Belgrade Serbia, Nate You Brave Bastard

I took this 3 picture series of Nate while he was here in the Uptown Jar about a year ago. I met this nomadic social engineer my very fist day on the Charlotte Messenger scene back in July of 1998 when he was riding for A-Courier, the second original former Q. You can read 2 previously posted Nate Stories here and here thanks to the link using text that is hyper. Nate is on the globo road yet again, this time in Serbia.
I received a letter from him that I want to share with those of you who have a minute to see. Before you read his letter and look at the picture he sent click here to get a background of what happened at the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999. For those of you not sure what NATO is look here to get the foundation of your new understanding.
Greetings from Beograd (Belgrade)!

Hey Bill,
Just wanted to let you know that life has been pretty good here. There is a lot of hanging out at outdoor cafes, chilling in the shade at the fortress, relaxing by the river. They call it blej (pronounced blay). Blej is the privilege of relaxation at any time of day. For anyone who has a little extra cash there are enough kafanas (cafes) to accommodate the entire nation at once. I am surprised by the number of people at rest. Does anyone work here? Not everyone is at ease, though. In the corner of one's eye and in the shadows of apartment blocks are the underclass of Eastern Europe: Gypsies. They are the ones who rifle through trash bins in search of cardboard to recycle, or a meal. They are the ones the cops harass when they don't have anything better to do. They are the ones who dirty up their kids and send them out to beg. They are the ones shantytowns are made for. Everyone else lives in a block. The typical apartment building is 5 or 6 stories, though some are 10 to 15. There seems to be an infinite number of variations on a theme, there are pairs and threes of any one design, but many many designs. They are arranged in blocks. I write to you from Block 11B, made up of about a dozen buildings. What passes for gangs are faith full to their blocks, as evidenced by copious graffiti. Many blocks have a lot of green space between the buildings where children play and dogs are walked. Some blocks are cleaner than others, but living in a Socialist era apartment building is not a life of deprivation. On another subject, I would like to draw your attention to an event that occurred on May 7, 1999. Before viewing the attachment to this email, go to Wikipedia and type in "China Embassy in Belgrade". Read the page and then view the attached photo. This event took place 2 or 3 hundred meters from where I am sitting.

Hope you are well, Bill!

From Belgrade,


Nate sent this image he took a few days ago of the building that held the former Chinese Embassy in Belgrade, I changed the composition to black and white.

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