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

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Laundry Room Next Door

By the time he thinks to call me on my cell phone, my husband is distraught. He's come home after a trip and the door lock is jammed so he can't get inside. He can hear the radio and the bathroom fan, which I inadvertently left on before going out to Vracar's green market, so he's sure I'm inside. Crazy scenarios of what must be stopping me from opening the door, involving electricity, bathtubs and absent-minded Amerikankas, are racing through his mind.

"Oh for goodness sake," I say when he finally calls me. "I'm fine. Why don't you just knock on the neighbor's door and ask them if they have a spare key to the place? I'm sure they do, this is that sort of country."

"What neighbor? There's no neighbor on our floor."

"Yes there is! They live right next door!" Now I am concerned that he is completely losing his mind. "They've got a little name plate right next to their door, they are called Podkrovlje."

He bursts out laughing. Apparently "podkrovlje" means "laundry room." And all this time I thought what nice quiet neighbors we had in Belgrade!


Anonymous said...

Rosemary you should know by now that everyones name ends in an ic.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, this is great. Lost in translation... your fights must be fun

Rosemary Bailey Brown said...

Everybody's name may end in an "ic" in central Serbia but in Vojvodina, where I've spent most of my time heretofore, there are something like 38 different ethnic groups (Hungarians, Germans, Romanians, etc), many of whom do not end their names in "ic". So, it didn't seem that strange to m.

Anberin said...

...and just when I thought your search has ended. Have been reading every blog like most people watch TV serials...and you've really got me hooked. I would love to film you and your musings as you go along.