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

Sunday, April 11, 2010

An Evening in Novi Sad with George Clooney & Antonio Banderas

"I am George Clooney and here is my friend Antonio Banderas!" Our family lawyer Dusan and my husband are sitting side by side at an outdoor cafe in Novi Sad grinning at me. I'm startled to realize it's true. The resemblance is remarkable ... if Clooney and Banderas were Serbians.

The boys are just back from a four-day road trip to Knin, once a Serb stronghold in central Croatia, where Dusan was born. I suddenly realize this whole Clooney/Banderas thing is a finely honed act they've used to flirt with barmaids and waitresses all the way there and back. It's a side of my husband I've never seen before, and it makes me laugh.

Novi Sad is Serbia's second largest city. It seems to consist of super-shiny banks and slightly-dingier apartment buildings. Only the old town area has many antique buildings in Austro-Hungarian style. Most have had their ground floors transformed into glass-fronted boutiques and cafes. Cars are banned so people can stroll about at ease. The resemblance to one of those vaguely 'Olde World-style' outdoor shopping malls in America is striking. Only, I guess you could say, this is the real George Clooney.

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