Thursday, 16 July 2009


16th July 2009

Its been four days since I touched
Knez Mihailova Street
down on Ugandan soil and the memories of Belgrade are still burning strong under my skin. I can still smell the fresh-scented dust free air, see the old bombed buildings, the nicely paved pedestrian streets, the strong summer sun scorching my black skin just as it does that of my white brothers and sisters in their smart scanty clothes, I still see the well organized shops through glass windows showing nice watches, clothes, bags, shoes, perfumes, in my mind’s eye I can still see the chatter and flatter and the buzz of the Knes Mihailova street with its art and craft; I can see the naked sculptures on the ancient traditional buildings of new Belgrade, I can still hear the buzz of their almost noiseless cars cruising effortlessly by on their nice pothole free roads, I can still see the flashing lights of their numerous traffic lights and the black and white zebra crossings for pedestrians, I still see the cute little fiat and Volkswagen cars stopping for us to cross the road, I can hear the sound of my footsteps on the cobbled streets and lanes in those noise free environments, I can still gaze at the magnificent cathedrals glittering with gold and serenity. In my mind am still walking in Kalemegdan, the big beautiful park with its nice lime green all over and lovely shade, ice cream girls and old gentlemen in old fashioned kangol caps playing chess on the park benches; I can still look down over a cliff onto the Sava and Danube rivers and watch them join together into the Danube, a very breath-taking view and experience; I can still feel the breeze in the air as I gaze at the sun over the water and still hear the amazing voice of our very nice attachĂ©/team guide Natalija explaining to me the political past of their country and look at her beautiful smile and her frown when she’s obviously tired; I can only feel grateful. I feel freed up there above all the pain and strain of surviving in a country like ours and I can only think, am living in Belgrade.
In the Tram

I still remember the numerous rides to town in the public buses-air conditioned and spacious, the trains and trams, I feel the closeness of the people piled up in the trams and I can feel their stares as I walk by with a bunch of other Ugandans-wide eyed and touristy or the burning looks of the beach revelers when I invaded their Ada Lake shore but I feel secure in the company of four young women my age, I feel I belong with them and for a while my life’s HAKUNA MATATA.
But most of all I feel the people of Belgrade; the people I was lucky enough to make an acquaintance of:
Tasmajdan Pool
Aleksandar Kostic is the guy I will always remember. This dude was so good to us I cant believe the level of hospitality (I remember this very much like a Ugandan welcome) and the length he went to help us have a great time. I met him at Tasmajdan pool. He came up to me and said hi. After greeting me he started asking me these crazy number of questions; I was amused to just be talking to him and immediately impressed by his warmth and enthusiasm. We chatted a long time and at the end of the day he gave me his number and promised to get in touch. From that first day he came by everyday to say hello and promised to take us shopping which he did later on. It was major fun but tiring. We bought and took a few beers on the streets of Belgrade which we would never do back here; we went to Delta City shopping mall where we met Sandra and Natalija Krakovic, two teenage girls who took an immediate liking to my pal Robert and started calling him Akon.
Conrad, Danielja, Robert, Bojana

At this moment there’s too much I can say about Alex my first friend in Belgrade but let me stick to the basics. He was the best damn friend I ever made in Belgrade. He welcomed us into his family home, he introduced me and Robert to his cute sister Marija; on our last day in Belgrade we met the rest of his family on our way to party when we did a detour and they had nice gifts for us which I feel was very kind especially when we just met them once. I got shirts, key holders, pens and my favorite, this Journal book. I fell in love with the whole family immediately. Am so glad I met Alex and he’s also fun. He’s great at hanging out, at the party later that night we went crazy in Zemun. We danced on tables and smashed glasses as a way to express how awesome you’re feeling which apparently the norm there is.
@Delta City
Bojana is another is another person I owe a lot when it comes to Belgrade fun. I met her at the dining room area as I was picking my bag along with several other volunteers. I had almost forgotten about them until I got their facebook requests. I was chatting in the games village Internet cafĂ© and she came online, we talked and she agreed to go hangin’ with her friends. She’s a very interesting girl but I found her quite shy. After we met she did not talk much and Robert did most of the talking. Turns out she is very intelligent when Robert got her to open up am just so sorry I did not get to know much of her after the buzz that her friends created as I got caught up in just answering their several curious questions about me and Africa. After that we spent the whole next day chilling at Ada Lake but still I did not get to speak to her because she got caught up with Robert and I stayed with Ksenija; a nice enough girl but she was more interested in Alex and yet Robert really liked her. That was a day to remember. Bojana had to go to her volunteer duties and I still wanted to hang with the girls. I met another one Milica with boyfriend trouble, a very talented designer and artist. First time I met her in delta city she asked if she could sketch a portrait of me and she did and gave the picture to me as a keepsake. I found her very amusing, she kept reminding me of a little flittering mockingbird. I had a crush on her immediately. Unfortunately it was wrong timing and very little English. I really liked that elfish girl with wild hair. I got a chance to study her as she concentrated and closed one eye to picture my profile as she drew that portrait and her crazy expressions always had me smiling.

And infact it was partly because of Milica that I met Jasmina. Jasmina is the girl I met at Club Magacin after I had quite several glasses of wine. After Zemun we drove to Magacin to meet up with the rest of the Ugandan team and several other athletes partying there. Soon after we got to the club I thought I saw Milica out of the corner of my eye. I was like finally someone I already know from before so I rushed to say hi ready with a hug overwhelmed with happiness and 2 seconds from hugging her I realized that she’s not Milica but another girl who looks a bit like her. Embarrassed I apologized; case of mistaken identity and just as I was about to walk away I was like what the heck am already here, I would just as well say hi.
With Jasmina
We got to talking and I told her a little about me and she told me something about her which I promptly forgot and she briefly introduced me to her sister. After a little while I invited her to go dancing and since she told me she likes RnB I asked her to show me some moves. We started grooving; I found her very sexy and we were having such a blast that before I knew it time had burst. I excused myself to go pee and on my way back I meet UG hommies of mine and they tell me they wanna go back to the sports village. Time was up for me so I requested 10mins which they didn’t have. I pleaded until they agreed to wait five more minutes. So with this in mind I walked back to Jasmina and without a word took her in my arms. Of course she drew sideways when I tried to kiss her. Then I told her ‘I gotta go now. This was my last night in Belgrade, my flight was at 10 o’clock that morning and she is never gonna see me again. This was the last time we’d be close together and I wanted to make this moment special. So I took her in my arms a second time and slowly but surely our lips locked. This is the longest time and first time I ever kissed a white chic. Gosh she is a damn god kisser. I had never been kissed like that before; first tantalizing and slowly then more and more passionately, she leaned into me and wrapped her arms around my neck, pressed her body close to mine, I held her waist and crushed her to me and the world disappeared around us. Two people penting their emotions in the middle of a crowded club dance floor. It said everything I felt about Belgrade; I love it, I miss it, and I don’t wanna let it go. A kiss for Belgrade, she got it and returned it,  she said this is for Belgrade, carry it in this kiss. We kissed took a breath and kissed some more, I explored her body, it was frail and tiny and soft and white. She was like melting in my arms and I half carried her and kept kissing her just as if to say this is what I have of me, take everything, this is all I got for you, it was a dream, I could have been a dream, I don’t know her but I know that moment and that impression is what I will always carry in my heart …

I broke the kiss, I had to break the kiss; I had to go and I asked her to escort me outside the club which she did. We met my friends and then I said ‘I have to go now” I took her again in my arms for the last time kissed her ever so gently I could not believe I could ever be as gentle with something I wanted so badly at that moment. As I kissed her goodbye someone stole the beer in my hands so I could have more room and a better use of my hands. I held and hugged her like my life depended on it. At a certain point I asked her to open her eyes and look at me while we kissed. We kissed like that for a while looking at each other reading each others eyes. I wanted her to know who I was at that moment and to make sure she never forgets me. I hope she didn’t; she did not … I know it.
Anyways I broke away and drew apart and then just as our hands were about to let go of each other I pulled her back and gave her one long parting kiss. I cant forget the curious way she kissed me and the way she did not try to force her tongue into my mouth but let me gently explore hers as I let her explore mine in return. We played around with our lips, she sucked and nicked my lower lip with a shadow of a smile, I gently caressed her cheek and she caressed mine then she whispered ‘go …’
Team UG on arrival in BG
I had to go, it was over, it was complete, it had been perfect, it was time for me to go, there was nothing else left for me to do, we’d taken everything we could possibly give of each other at that point; that was my goodbye Belgrade. It was fun but it had to end; always in my heart … so long Belgrade … ti si lepa 