• A great experience off the beaten path

“Screw it” Matt says as he concedes to the 2 liter beer. The clock hasn’t even reached 10:00 and us passengers are already passing the massive beer bottles back and forth, back seat to front.

“We’re on a 1970’s road trip” Matt says as he hands the beer back to me. I know exactly what he means.

His statement relates to the fact that we’re drinking (massive) beers in a car with no hesitation.

That none of the Serbians put their seat belts on, that Matt and I had to pull ours out of hiding below the seat.

That Marko’s sister is chain smoking in the back seat as she obnoxiously critiques her brother’s driving skills, blatantly unconcerned with the passenger’s opinions of her polluting the cabin air quality. A backseat driver with a smoking problem, perfect.

Which screams 1970’s more? D) All the above.

Matt and I are heading to the south eastern border of Serbia with two friends we met on Couch Surfing for a Serbian holiday called “Slava”. The justification for the pre-noon drinking is that its Marko and Vladimir’s tradition to drink the whole way, arrive at the party, then drink some more. As guests it would be rude to decline participation.

“How big is your village?”

Over the traditional Serbian music playing, Marko responds “about a 20 thousand.”

“20 thousand, that’s not too small.”

“No, no, 20 houses.”

For two travelers craving authentic cultural experiences, this Slava was just what we needed.

_ _ _

This is part 1 of the Serbian Slava Story. More parts coming soon. Also, a video recap!

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