Book Of Belgrade: Guli


Guli has the best pizza in Belgrade. At least, that’s what I’d heard. However, I didn’t go rushing out to Skadarlija (despite its close proximity to my place) as soon as I learned about this fantastic pizza.

The problem with pizza in the Balkans is that it’s rarely good, never mind great. My years in Montenegro left me puzzled: how could this country exist within sight of Italy, yet be so incapable of making a decent pie? Let’s not even get into the fact that the most common topping around these parts is ketchup. Yes, ketchup — you choose, regular or spicy.

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Book of Belgrade: Excellent ice cream at Crna Ovca


The majority of ice cream you’ll find in Belgrade is exactly the sort that discerning foodies would warn you off in Italy: heaps of gelato, much of it tinted bright pink or neon green. So when, on our way to find a nice little cafe, we passed by Crna Ovca, suddenly caffeine didn’t seem quite so necessary. It was far more important to find out what was under those silver lids.

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Migrants, refugees and the importance of language


It’s been nearly two weeks since a crowd of hundreds rushed a border fence in Macedonia, only to be met by truncheons and stun grenades. Six days later, two boats sunk in the Mediterranean, while 71 bodies were found inside an abandoned truck in Austria. Now hundreds are stuck outside Budapest’s train station, demanding their tickets to Germany be honored, as the Hungarian government insists it is applying EU law by keeping them there.

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I’ve been in Montenegro nearly eleven months now, and I finally feel like I am coming into my own.

For the first nine months, I was terribly off-kilter. There were moments of joy, of course, but most days involved tears, often ugly, messy tears. It was like the world’s longest detox, but the drug I was removing myself from was my former life. I was Liz Gilbert in India, but without the benefit of the meditation cave.

And without the yoga. Or the vegetarian diet. I told myself I could concentrate on physical health once my mental health had stabilized. There was nothing self-destructive going on — I wasn’t living out the immortal phrase “I eat to much, I drink too much, I smoke too much, I want too much” — but I didn’t deny myself, either. Burek, pizza, rakija, beer, bread…the Balkan diet doesn’t go in much for fruits and vegetables, and I was perfectly fine with that.

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Travelling Alone


Venturing out alone doesn’t mean loneliness, so why am I so reluctant to do it?

Some might say I’ve done a lot of travelling in my life. I’m not sure I’d agree with that — there’s so much of the world to be seen — but it’s true that I’m always planning not just my next trip, but the next, and the next.

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