This is an account of the four months I spent working in the former Yugoslavia, a journey I made in both in distance and time. I found myself living a lifestyle that had existed in the west forty years earlier. I was living in a friendly crime free society where people were amazed to discover that I found it necessary to even consider locking my door. But despite this, getting paid always posed a problem, and led to some strange confrontations with my boss, who at all other times when money was not the issue was always my friend. So here then are my memories of the local culture, my friends, my work, and my attempts to explore the local and neighbouring areas.
In 2006 I embarked upon a year of travelling in eastern Europe. I have chronicled my experiences and encounters during the first four months of this adventure in my new book:
‘A Different Lifetime: stepping back in time in the former Yugoslavia.’
My book is all about my living and working for four months in Vojvodina – a small and largely unknown and unexplored province of what was once Yugoslavia.
I use the phrase “stepping back in time” because I literally found myself being absorbed into a culture and lifestyle that might seem to belong more to the early part of the twentieth century rather than to the beginning of the twenty-first. There were few cars, no large chain stores or fast-food outlets, just the old style grocers, bakers, greengrocers, and cafés. And I was amazed to find that many of these small shops and businesses still received their deliveries by horse and cart.
I was living in a community that was so small that complete strangers would know who I was and exactly what my purpose in the community was – to teach English. An extraordinary level of honesty prevailed everywhere that would seem unheard of in the west, and people were always amazed to find that I should find it necessary to lock my door.
And so against this background, my book unravels my adventures in Vojvodina, the friends I made, my experience of teaching English, and my attempts to explore the local area.
Please feel welcome to read a chapter of my book free at any of the following Amazon locations: