Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Evenings in Sombor - Promenade & Cafe Scene

First, every evening there's a Promenade down the central street that it seems like everyone - male and female, young and old - participates in.... just like in towns in Italy, everyone comes out to walk slowly up and down the street in the middle of town. Old couples, young parents, groups of kids with their friends, and especially teenagers all dressed up but trying very hard to look nonchalant about it.

But then, around 10pm or perhaps a bit earlier, the promenade is over. Abruptly nearly all the women disappear, while the men disperse to various cafes and bars on every block.

The men thronging in the cafes are of every possible age and demographic. Rich men, poor men, old pensioners, middle aged working men, hippy-style long-haired men, artists, crispy-dressed fashionable men... you name it. However, aside from young waitresses, young single women who are dressed up to the hilt and on the prowl, and a few young wives carefully accompanied by husbands, there are really NO women at the cafes or on the streets.

Most groups are men only. In almost all cases I'm the only woman at a table. In nearly all cases I'm the only woman over 30 in the entire cafe. Other women are nearly all wait-staff, single girls all gussied up for a night out, and a few summer visitor's wives. The single girls move in packs (just like the US), and the wives are all on their husband's arms. You don't see many Sombor wives out with each other though.

My husband told me the differences between men and women are exaggerated here from the US. It's fascinating to see what they are and to discern what about me, acting like a normal American woman, must have seemed really weird to him when we first met when he first came to the US.

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