Friday, May 6, 2011

The cafe scene

Cafe culture is huge in Serbia. I've heard this is more or less a fact of Europe and people in Serbia definitely spend a lot of time cafe-ing it up. It's the understood way to meet friends or colleagues formally or informally. It's relaxing, comforting, and easy and I've taken quite a liking to it.

The polako mentality plays a large part in this casual and simple activity because living in the moment without being concerned with time is the backbone of cafes. You can rush in and out of the cafes or go there for practical hydrating reasons but this is hardly ever the case. People sit, talk, drink, smoke, reflect, observe passerbys, and take the day in at cafes and it's not unusual to spend an hour or three at a cafe having just coffee or tea the entire time.

This picture from Bečej doesn't show too much but this is a normal cafe set-up and I haven't taken many pictures in cafes

Skadarlija ulica: cafe upon kafana upon cafe

This is Nis' mini Skadarlija

There's also a nightlife cafe scene which usually starts around 9 or 10pm. Young people will meet up at a cafe, have a round of drinks, then move from cafe to club to cafe and sort of hop around until the wee hours of the morning.

A popular Serbian phrase is hayde na kafu, let's go for coffee, pronounced I day nah kah foo. People throw this phrase around all the time and I like how it sounds a lot so I've even begun using it.

We met for coffee to be interviewed for a radio station in Novi Sad. Many work meetings and discussions take place in cafes.

Fond memories with this picture. Asja and I stumbled into this cafe during second week in Nis. It tends to draw an older crowd, unbeknownst to us at that time, and we certainly didn't help our obvious outsider label by ordering chocolate milk.

Initially I had difficulty sitting for these extended periods but this relaxation has grown on me. The hot beverages are chiefly responsible for this I think because you are required to sit still and wait or risk a charred tongue. Then once my Serbian improved and I could follow and contribute to conversations, cafes became even more pleasurable meeting grounds.

No comments:

Post a Comment