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First encounter with a Serb….

17 Dec

Many of you know that the state of Illinois is home to over 600,000 Serbians. It is known as “little Serbia” and is the 2nd most populous Serbian city on the planet after Belgrade, Serbia.

I had never spoken to a Serb until one cold night in January 2010. I had just returned from a long 12 hour work day at my Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep dealership. Opening my first beer of the night I sat down and opened my Facebook profile. That day I had heard a few of my coworkers talking about a Facebook page called “I hate the USA.” Searching for it I quickly found it and started reading some of the posts. There were a few that really stuck out. They had been written by a couple guys with “strange last names.” I posted a few sharp responses to them. We did this for a few days and slowly became friendly. We added each other on Skype and started talking a few days a week. I told them of my many world travels. They said “why don’t you visit Serbia”? I thought for a few moments and said “Ok, I have two weeks vacation starting on May 28th. I will be there.”

Serbia is a country I knew very little about. I was always a great student in Geography. Learning about other countries and cultures has always fascinated me. I had only heard of Serbia a few times in my life. One of my favorite books The Worlds Most Dangerous Places by Robert Pelton mentioned Serbs in a bad light. Bosnia was mentioned in his book and told stories of Serbian brutality and aggression. Bill Clinton also mentioned the “barbaric Serbian military” in his announcement to the American people to justify our military intervention in Kosovo in 1999. There are numerous movies and tv shows in which the Serb plays the villain! My mental picture of Serbia was one of a barren wasteland with bombed out buildings and evil, cannibals roaming the plains. My friends, the ones that actually knew that Serbia wasn’t Siberia, told me I was a FOOL for visiting a dangerous country. When I told my girlfriend that I was going to be traveling to Serbia she said “why are you going to Russia?” Some of my family  and coworkers couldn’t fathom that I would travel ALONE to a country we knew as hostile and meet two people I had encountered on a page called  “I hate the USA.” My boss even shook my hand on my last day of work and said ” It has been nice knowing you. I am sure we will never see you again.”

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13 Comments

Posted by on December 17, 2011 in Through my eyes

 

13 responses to “First encounter with a Serb….

  1. z

    December 21, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Why don’t you finish the story? What happened after that?

     
    • cather76

      December 21, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      I have just started the blog!!!! hahahah.> It will be worked on in the next few weeks.. you will see!!!! thanks for reading and please share!!!

       
  2. nele

    December 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    lol ahahahaha

     
  3. banec

    December 21, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    u are a great guy Charles, i wish u all best in life!

     
  4. Ilija Mladenovic

    January 3, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    The last line –> O_O

     
  5. Branislav Milojković

    January 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    It’s sad to hear that there are average American people out there who let themselves be fooled by propaganda to such an extent.

    How did your boss react when you came back after your first visit? 🙂

     
  6. DLCS Management

    January 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Hilarious! I thought you were a Serb untill I read this..

     
    • cather76

      January 18, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      hahahaha.. nope.. 100% american… thanks for reading!

       
  7. Strahinja

    November 23, 2012 at 5:41 am

    As a Serb, I have no issue at all with most of the world thinking of Serbia as some scary evil place. It keeps most people away. Too much tourism always ruins the authenticity of a place anyway.

    I’m not sure what your name is dude, but there is a book called ‘A Guide to the Serbian Mentality’ by Momo Kapor. It has an english translation. I really recommend it. You’ll enjoy it.

     
    • cather76

      December 14, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      thanks for the book title.. i need to find it.. 🙂 have a nice day

       
  8. Natasa

    June 27, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Accidentally stumbled upon your website (don’t ask what I was googling). Pleasantly surprised with your passion for our culture and the fight for justice you’ve taken on. I find that most of us have given up on that idea. Thank you for loving our country as much as we do. Maybe more than we do! As someone who has practically grown up in North America, I cannot describe the feeling of nostalgia as I step foot onto the airport in Beograd. In my heart it feels like home. I’ve visited London, Paris, Rome – some of the “must see” destinations on everyone’s list I’m sure – but nothing compares to Beograd. In my opinion at least. I’d love to see the locals benefit more from tourism. Selfishly I am hoping that would make tickets a little cheaper and my visits a bit more frequent 🙂 Keep up the good work!

     
  9. Lori

    August 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Haha… two guys you met on a “I hate USA” page. I can see why everyone thought you were crazy. This post made my day 😀

     
    • cather76

      August 20, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      ahahah.. yes, ma’am!!! they did think I was nuts! 🙂

       

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