Grad.

Grad. Beograd.

Grad. A city.

As opposed to “selo”. A village.

Rarely beautiful. Communism took its toll. Eroding. Fading. Crumbling.

Beograd. The white city. Little is white. Most is dingy, dull, grey. The buildings, the streets, the people. They all seem to blend.

But there’s life. There’s always life.

The streets of Belgrade typically teem. Little old ladies toting bags stuffed with peppers. Little old men pausing to greet a friend. Shouting to a second floor window. Shopkeepers, a quick gossip and a smoke outside. Crowded cafes. Bustling bakeries. Even sidewalks seem to shuffle.

Grad. Large, cramped, ebbing, flowing. Blending, yet not faceless. Greetings from the fruit vendor. See you soons from the bartender. Hellos, goodbyes, how-is-your-days. How is your family. How is your friend.

Direction. Toward the city.

Seeking excitement. Seeking reward. Seeking opportunity.

Direction. Away. A choice. A chance. Escape. Away from the grind. Away from the dirt. Away from the hustle, bustle, movement.

For some, fortune is opting out. Often, fortune is opting in.

The city remains at center.