The ticketing interlude

Charlene vagabonding 11 Comments

The first thing that hits as you when you enter the ticketing area of Belgrade’s main station is the smell of piss, then the sudden muting of the urban bustle just outside its walls. We walked in, didn’t see any signs we knew how to read, and decided to start at the information desk. “Hello,” I said to the lady behind the counter. “We want to buy tickets from -” “Ah!” She leapt to her feet, barked a string of instructions in Serbian, and gestured violently at one of the counters in the row behind us. “Tickets there?” we hazarded tentatively. Vigorous nodding. Her other hand joined in the gesturing for emphasis. Off we trotted to counter 18. Watched the pair of customers before us haggling about tickets they’d just bought, cutting off a crafty old fella who tried to …

Mayday

Charlene journal 2 Comments

It pissed down all day, the skies soggy like my feet. St. Sava Church, monumental in the true scale of the word, a veined marble behemoth calmly dwarfing the surrounding urban motley. The church of St. Sava has been under some stage of construction since the society was that was created for this purpose, was founded in 1895. Wars, I hear, get in the way of such things. Its exterior was completed around 2009, but its interior is bare hulking bone, a cavernous jangle of protective sheeting, studio lights and an infestation of TV cabling – the high-speed IV for that night’s service broadcast. On its rough-hewn stone floor, oblivious to the production in progress, devout and day trippers alike busied, lighting candles, taking snapshots, selfies, and shelter from the rain. We slipped back out into wet, chased by reverberations from the rehearsing choir, …

Belgrade in Transit

Charlene journal 6 Comments

I’ve been shooting from transport – mostly the public variety – for a long time. Travelling by bus or train has been something I’ve done my whole life, and the ebbs and flows of commuting are familiar, no matter where in the world I am. I’ve shot from buses, trains, planes, ferries, tug boats, and tuk tuks. In Belgrade, I get to add the trams to that list. The No 2 tram does a ring around old Belgrade. A ticket costs 89 Serbian dinars (just under USD $1), and is valid for 90 minutes within the zone. My ticket to ride.

Day 2, Belgrade

Charlene journal 4 Comments

My Mum often asks me “what are you going to do there?” whenever I go somewhere new. “Walk around and look at things,” is the inevitable answer. (My mother probably thinks I’m mad, but is too kind to say so) Sometime last year, I had decided that I really wanted to go places where I could walk endlessly without worrying for my safety. Flemming and I have been in Belgrade for 2 days, and in addition to walking, it is also a feast for the eyes. It’s a world away from the color of Guanajuato, where we’ve been for 2 months, but on the morning of our first day here, I wake up to facets, out the window of the apartment we’ve got for the …

The High Road

Charlene journal 4 Comments

Singapore, December 2015 I haven’t lived in Singapore since 1999, but have spent a significant amount of time there in the last 3 years. It’s a topsy turvy process, confronting the strangeness of the superficially familiar. It’s easy for me to say “I’m Singaporean” everywhere, except in Singapore, because it’s there that the phrase makes no sense.