An Illustrated History of Slavic Misery: Saturday Fight Night

Posted on July 8, 2013


I have a lot to catch up on. Too much to be honest, and I feel way too frail to properly sum it all up in a witty and concise blog post. But, if anything I’m a trooper, so let’s have a go. Last Friday I went out for a day around Vojvodina with Dejan and the awesome Singaporeans, but I’m not going to talk about that, not yet. That can have its own chapter. Right now, we’re going to discuss pure unadulterated violence.

Late on the Friday, we were blessed with the arrival of a lovely chap from Shrewsbury called Jon. Hi Jon. Hot on his heels however, were a couple of glorious Canadians by the names of Nick and Jordan (Funk). Cause I’m such a swell chap, we agreed to head to Rusmir the next day so they could experience the joy of sausages. Great food, a few beers, maybe a rakija, what could go wrong? Well.

After heading out to Zemun, we stopped for a pre-Rusmir pivo in Pivnica Rak, a nice little place just round the corner. After a brief discussion about all things musical and all things tipping, it was sausage time. Rusmir was packed, as usual, so we sat outside surrounded by all the tied up chairs in the world. Only Javorka and the other nice blond girl were working, so they were super stressed, but we were in no rush. We got ourselves a pivo and a Malina (raspberry) rakija. The 3 of us sipped ours, but Funk didn’t hesitate in taking the whole thing down, because he is apparently a machine.

I don’t need to write another paragraph about how great the food is at Rusmir.

We finished up, got ourselves a beer each and had a long sit by the river. I really have a lot of time for Zemun and in particular the riverside area. It is easy to fall in love with it, the slow relaxing lifestyle that the Balkans seems to encourage. Good company helps too, and these 3 guys are as good as any I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. We nipped back to Rusmir for a toilet break and a second rakija, this time Dunja (quince), which was possibly ill-advised. The decision was made to head to KC Grad for a pivo or two, and everything went rapidly downhill or horrifically uphill, depending on how you view it all.

Grad was a blast. Grad is always a blast. By this time I was getting on the border of too drunk, to the point of managing to spill 3 beers on the tray and practically throwing the 4th over myself and Funk. No problems though, as this merely presented us with a new vehicle for the pivo. Being the classy gentlemen we are, we sipped straight from the tray. That was my tipping point, and as we headed to Schlep (a boat club), I was considerably peregrine falconed. To be honest, all of Schlep is a blur, except taking an almighty tumble off the stage which is still causing my neck all sorts of issues. Things were about to get spicy though. Jon had been lost at this point, disappearing with a girl called Hillary from Pittsburgh (Go Pens!). We made the always wise decision to get some food, so to Loki we went.

As we headed down the street with the Zebras painted on the floor, it became quickly apparent that we were being followed. What happened next is fuzzy, but here is what I’ve pieced together from the recollections of Nick, Funk and my own hazy memory. The guy approached us and put his hand on Nick’s shoulder. Nick figured he was being a friendly chap, but friendly chaps don’t usually carry knives that they then hold to peoples faces. I pulled Nick back, and we began to attempt to reason with the guy. I assume, we most probably made fun of him. We were too drunk to be threatened. We asked him what he was doing, and he made it very clear that he hated the English and he thought that Funk was fat. Yet another who can’t make the distinction between English and Welsh and, hilariously, Canadian. Then he asked for a thousand dinars. No mate. Then, for whatever reason, the guy struck me in the face. I’ve never been hit in any way shape or form, so it was a little shocking. One good thing about it however is that my slightly bruised face can give me all the reason I need to go full Cody Rhodes in 2010.

He obviously had to make a move in order to validate his dumbness, so his move was to steal my glasses right from my face and make a run for it. I chased off after him, and managed to get one sort of mistimed dropkick before he was off and I was on the floor. In what is still my favourite thing, I supposedly lay on the concrete floor for a good 5 minutes, face down, shouting something along the lines of ‘I WILL FIND YOU, AND I WILL MURDER YOU. YOU WON’T KNOW WHEN OR HOW I WILL STRIKE, BUT I PROMISE YOU I WILL. I AM GOING TO LITERALLY END YOUR LIFE’. Kids say the funniest things.

And that was that. I finally experienced my first violent mugging, and instead of stealing my wallet or iPhone, this chap was only after my particularly cool glasses. My foot still hurts from kicking him, my back still hurts from the fall, and my face! My beautiful face! As I’ve said a lot already, I am more disappointed than annoyed. I have spent a lot of time in this part of the world and attempted to do a lot to change the way people view it back home. For this to happen, is just disappointing. Needless to say, I fell asleep fully clothed.