Travels 2006-2009…Golubac…Eurovision…June 2008…
Eurovision has come and gone in a blur. The song contest is a meant to symbolize European unity. That significance of its appearance in Serbia after the country voted for a pro-EU path is lost on no one.
DS has a majority in parliament, allowing Tadic strong control over the government. Radovan Karadzic will be arrested in July and sent to the Hague. Kostunica is no longer prime minister. DSS has joined the Radicals in the opposition and their attempt to bring down Tadic’s government with a no confidence vote gets postponed “indefinitely.” Tadic has even managed to get Novi Pazar’s Sulejman Ugljanin to join the new government, hopefully neutralizing him as a political threat in Sandzak.
However, Ugljanin being made part of Tadic’s government angers Zukorlic. From Novi Pazar he issues a statement saying that while the Democrats still have the support of Bosniaks in Sandzak, it has failed to meet its promises.
“That will most certainly cost them dearly in the future,” he says.
Amid the superficial silliness of Eurovision, it is possible to see Serbia as a place that does not involve Kosovo, that does not involve centuries of anger, war, and bitterness.
Every European country has sent singer and accompanying delegations to represent them. Amid the awful pop music all the stereotypes are seen. One of the French hosts insists on talking almost entirely in French. A member of the Albanian delegation has only one arm.
At Srebrno Jezero (Silver Lake) near Golubac there is construction happening. “A few months ago it wasn’t like this,” J says.
The old cafanas along the water are being torn down and a resort is being built. A pamphlet given to us at a cafe says that a golf course is being constructed nearby.
There is no place better to see that Serbia has started it’s move to the EU than Srebrno Jezero. The old cafanas will be missed yet the resort is meant to host business meetings that will bring investment to Serbia, that will make the country grow.
J, Igor, and I, we walk down the road past the lake and over to the Danube. The ancient river flows along slowly. Across it lies Romania. Nothing moves. There are a few buildings and trees, but otherwise the opposite bank is empty.
Igor starts laughing.
“Look over there at those EU bastards,” he says. “So actually it was all a lie. After all of it this EU thing was just something they showed us on TV to make us excited.”
He picks up a large rock and two handed chucks it at the Romanian side of the river.
It lands in the water with a splash.