So, it turns out that getting from Kosovo to Serbia is a bit of a problem if you enter Kosovo first, which meant that long story short we needed to travel to Skopje in Macedonia in order to take a bus to Nis, and then another to Belgrade. 13 hours I would have rather avoided.
On arrival, our friend informed us that we would be taking ANOTHER bus the next day to Bosnia. I was not so excited about the bus, but it would be country 143, so what the hell.
The bus took about 6 hours to get Banja Luka, the capital of the Serb Republic (half of what makes Bosnia), and interestingly went via Croatia. Interestingly this meant that I and my Pioneer Media co-founder had managed to do the whole of the old Yugoslavia over the preceding few months.
We were picked up in Banja Luka and whisked straight to Prijedor, where we were to stay with friends of friends and attend a memorial music festival. The memorial was for a local musician and artist called Poledi (see photo), and someone I will blog about in more detail later.
On arrival, we were introduced to the Serbian phrase of “aggressive hospitality”, which meant eating and drinking as quickly as possible so we could head to the park and drink more. Drinking in the park in Prijedor was AMAZING, there was Jager, which always pleases me, but also plum wines, local liquors, and a whole host of homemade stuff. A girl looked at me and said: “you will get fucked up tonight”. She was not wrong.
At the concert, you’re required to put money on a pre-paid card and then spend accordingly. We put on like 20 Euro, and the beers seemed to never end. I even ended up buying beers for the bartender.
The concert itself? I’m not massively into music festivals, but I genuinely like Serbian music, and there were some more than decent acts.
Getting home was a blur, people fell over, street food was eaten, and a taxi driver had his first-ever foreign customers. Overall a successful first night in Prijedor.