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Snow Storms and Trash Cans–Serbian Style

by Laura on January 11th, 2013

What really freaks me out these days is snow storms. It’s not because I hate snow, and cold weather in general, and am constantly sick. It’s not because it’s a fucking nightmare hassle to get two little kids dressed for cold weather, from the steamy confines of my apartment. sweating inside my layers. Noooooo.

What, Laura? We’re all dyyyyying to know. What are you anxious about now?

All the old people! … Walking to the grocery story or farmer’s market (really, it’s a piaca, but no matter), shuffling along, on unshoveled, snow-covered, icy walkways.

The beaten-down path in front of my apartment building. Four days after the snow fall. Not shoveled. Hello?

Just one snowstorm, and I’ve already helped two grandpas up from a fall, and thank goodness no one broke a hip! There’s an aging population here in Serbia, and you’d think they’d calculate that it’s cheaper to hire some guys to shovel a sidewalk, than have the state-run health system pay for some poor deka’s hip replacement surgery!

Only in Serbia

Snow in Belgrade can put a beautiful white layer over all the minor city-suburb aesthetic infractions. But not so for the trash bin situation.

I wasn’t too disturbed by the communal trash dumpsters outside our apartment building. They get filled up, and even overflow, but the orange jump-suited trash personnel seem to do a good job of cleaning up any debrie. The dumpsters are not pretty, they’re certainly not sanitary. They’re handy, though … Those individuals looking to recycle cardboard, find old clothes, or other usable items, can easily reach in and get what they need. Good times.

What’s a little dumpster-graffiti between friends? No biggie.

But theeeen, ohhhh but then! A big bulldozer came to DIG! (And my kids had to watch for ten minutes before we were allowed to resume our walk.) The city was installing new-fangled fancy-pants trash bins. Cute, petite containers out-of-the-ground; HUGE trash storage capacity under the ground (I sound like Go Dog Go, jesus). No worries that city officials forgot to design an opening that would fit a normal household-sized trash bag–these babies were stainless steel!

Look! Look! New trash bins!

Yes, they are lovely. Wait, wait, what’s that? They don’t look great to you?

Ohhhh, riiiiight. You’re just thrown by the ghetto-looking fence and the “Be Careful! Work going on!” sign; neither of which would stop a little grandma from falling six feet, by the way. (It’s not apparent from the picture, but the hole does go down about two meters; I already mentally pictured how bad the concussion would be if one of my kids happened to fall.)

After three weeks in this state, Surprise! Five guys arrive, taking turns filling the holes with dirt — one at a time, while the other four sit in the warm truck cab likely arguing who will have to go out in the bitter cold next.

No properly paved-over concrete yet. Stay tuned.

Lest you believe I’m totally ragging on Serbia in the winter, I will leave you with a beautiful sunset, if only to restore my good graces and leave you with thoughts of fluffy kittens, warm bread and soft blankets. Yea! Winter!



From → Expat Mommy

  1. Laura, it's so interesting to hear (and see!) life in Serbia. Thanks!

    I don't know if you've found Mud Hut Mama – I really enjoy her blog, too.

    • Laura permalink

      Addison – thanks for the tip — I will check out her blog!

  2. Thanks for giving me a little, shiver, taste of Serbia. The traffic hassles on a Friday dealing with our overflow trash rivals your issues, I think. And it's been supercold here today, a chilly 50. You know Californians stop functioning below 68 degrees, right? Happy New Year!

    • Laura permalink

      Cynthia – Oh man, I totally used to "stop functioning" below 68 degrees! I moved to Southern California as a young adult and almost immediately felt I had no further need for seasons! I get it! Stay warm in the "cold" Los Angeles weather!

  3. Nice page, nice feature! So freakin cold there! I live in a tropical country and I haven't seen snow yet. Thanks for sharing this, I hope to experience snow next year.

  4. Shared! Shared! This is AWESOME stuff man! Thank you!

  5. You should be telling about it to the people that have been living around you because they are concern to it. I think that you should be cleaning your part and leave the rest of the area to others.

  6. Hey really such a wonderful post dear.

  7. The information about the snowstorm you shared is very good. Updated information and value.

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