July 24, 2008

Budva, Montenegro

Happily on my way out of Skodra, I became a financial slave to public transportation which turned a 2 hour car ride into a five hour connecting bus route into Montenegro. While trying to buy my ticket for Budva, I was introduced to a Montenegrin pastime – cutting in line without an ounce of remorse. I was truly amazed at the disorganization of purchasing things which not only pertained to bus tickets but to just about everything you could possibly stand in line for. My nerves must have looked racked as I was consistently shoved out the way with a near approaching departure time because when I turned around after waiting a good 20 minutes on one “line” only to be told to go to another “line”, a young man who had taken my similar “line” journey looked at me and said “what is your problem?” after which I almost socked him in his perfect white teeth, but after traveling for a while you learn not to take accented language for literal meanings and I am glad I held my composure because he turned out to be a great help and good company. I did, however, have a sliver of satisfaction when I learned he was a Serb raised in Germany, and the first response in my mind was “what’s my problem? More accurately, what’s your problem?” But then I learned he was only 19 and, therefore, too young to be posed that question.
My new friend helped me secure local accommodation at his neighbor’s house just outside the main town of Budva after learning I had not booked anything in advance and the bus was to arrive after 10:00 p.m. I was happy to be in a residential part of town, in a small house on a hill overlooking the beautiful Adriatic coastline, away from the swarms of young kids and Russian tourists near Old City. The town outside of the Old City, which is a labyrinth of narrow stone streets, expensive shops, overpriced cafes and a marina, is underwhelming and supremely crowded and if it weren’t for the mountain range and clear blue waters that surround it, there wouldn’t be much reason to visit, unless your main goal is to party in a kind of Adriatic Sea meets Las Vegas style. Although it could be fun for some because there was a high percentage of beautiful women with fantastic long, tanned and toned legs to which I renamed the country “Montelegro”, a place which is so small in size compared to their Balkan neighbors, that I finally gained some patience when they felt the need to cut the queue.

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