Hello, my name is Sasha and I am a resident of Omsk. About five years ago I happened to share a room in a hostel with three decent guys-Serbs. Then I felt the identity of a related Balkan culture, and now it so happened that in the process of searching for the "very" place, our family was in Montenegro and now we live here - in a country the size of a thimble.
The area of the whole country is about 1/10 of the Omsk region, and the length of the land borders is 614 kilometers (!). Here live just over 600 thousand people, a quarter of whom live in the capital Podgorica.
Not thick, is it?
As a person who grew up in the north of the Omsk region, I am constantly struck by the way of living, full of life and abundance of flora and fauna. On such a small territory is concentrated an amazing variety of biomes: in the coniferous forests of the Northwest, in the ancient olive and chestnut groves of Skadar, among the waterfall, virgin canyons and sandy beaches are dwelt by mongooses, pelicans, flamingos, greasy carp and shiny snakes snaking by above mentioned.
This list can be continued indefinitely.
Throughout the whole territory of Montenegro, the buildings of the 9th, 11th and 13th centuries are scattered in small groups, all of which are fully accessible to curious tourists. For fans of military affairs: in the rocks of the coast there are a number of abandoned artillery positions, apparently Italian - with tunnels, stairs and staff rooms. The ancient Austrian roads pierce the mountain ranges, forming a whole network of interesting routes. It's obviously not boring here.
In general, against the backdrop of a fairly short set of historical monuments of Western Siberia, the possibility of unobstructed study of the sight of the abundance of buildings of a millennial and more prescription still tears the pattern. Every day my way to work and back runs through the Ratatsky monastery of the XI century, and every time I cannot be satisfied with the solemnity of the moment.
Before you come to another country, you tend to start wooling forums and other resources in trying to figure out the cost of housing, nuances of visa policy and other things. So, here you can relax: in addition to the stamp in the passport, you do not need anything. You are no longer in Russia - take your time, relax and enjoy the moment. Even without knowing the language, remember: Everyone smiles in the same language. In no country of the world did I feel more at ease.
The main word here is "Polako!": Slowly, slowly, carefully. A frank conversation in a relaxed atmosphere can solve any problems. On the other hand, from the local "momcy" (guys), you should not expect the fulfillment of promises on time. The Montenegrin "sutra" (I will do tomorrow) actually means "maybe this week, maybe later". And never give the Montenegrins money in advance: he will not return anymore.
"The main word here is" Polako! ": Slowly, slowly, carefully. A frank conversation in a relaxed atmosphere can resolve any issues."
Apparent incompetence, sluggish sluggishness and slothfulness of the employees of local organs are only appearances. Their attitude to work reflects the worldview of the Balkan peoples formed over the centuries. So, for example, the Balkan police seeks to help in any issues, to consult, or even simply to fraternally chat.
But! If you suddenly have a black beard, a short haircut and ... a drumbeat - short pants, then you automatically transferred into the category of "Wahhabits," and now you have problems with the police, at least in the capital. Not once tested on my own experience.
The housing market in Montenegro is one and well developed, still the country trades with tourism. People's requests vary, but the cost of good family housing varies between 150-300 euros per month.
Thanks to the annual influx of students, property prices in the capital of Podgorica are too high: it is difficult to find apartments and for 200 euros, the average price of a monthly lease stably keeps at the level of 250-400 euros.
"If the proximity to the place of work for you is not obligatory, then housing in the outback can be rented for 100-150 euros."
If the proximity to the place of work for you is not obligatory, then a home in the outback can be rented for 100-150 euros. Very advantageous option - to rent a house in halves.
Pleasant bonus: having on your hands a real estate lease contract (not necessarily certified in court), you can go through a monthly registration with a tourist organization for free. Under normal circumstances, each member of your family will enjoy this pleasure at 14-27 euros per month, depending on the region and season.
Work, in the usual sense of many, there is virtually no, as there is no big business. But there are grannies, who for a whole day ride their goats in a boat on the Skadar Lake, so that they can eat enough water lilies.
If you do not have a "business of your own," and remote earnings are alien, then the process of employment can be delayed for a long time. Exceptions are the IT sector, real estate and the seasonal services market.
"Having in your pocket a couple of hundred euros
in Montenegro you can easily live a month or two".
However, lack of money is not a verdict at all. In connection with the recent events at the previous place of work for about three months, I lived almost without a livelihood: immediately moved, switched to a meat diet, and traveled primarily by hitchhiking.
So it turned out that having in your pocket a couple of hundred euros, here you can easily live a month or two. According to statistics, the average salary in Montenegro is about 480 euros, in practice 300 euros per month is already considered a good salary.
Not having a car at hand, traveling around Montenegro is hard. Of course, almost anywhere in the country there are regular buses, but the pleasure is quite expensive: for example, a ticket to Budva-Podgorica (about 70 kilometers and an hour and a half) will cost around 6 euros. The price list is available here.
Cheaper to move around on trains. There are only two railway branches in Montenegro: one is laid directly over the peaks of the mountain ranges and follows to Serbia (Belgrade - Bar), the other leads to the north, in the second largest city of Montenegro - Niksic. By the way, for the first time in my life I was privileged: people under the age of 26 can use a 30% discount on any tickets, not bad. Check prices for train tickets and timetables here
"Almost all the roads of Montenegro are interspersed with tunnels in the rocks,
where bicycle entry is prohibited.
In general, you need a car or a moped".
With bicycles the situation is heavy: with few exceptions, all the roads of Montenegro are interspersed with tunnels carved into the rocks, bicycles are prohibited from entering, just like walking on foot. For movement within the city, the bike fits perfectly, but no more.
In general, you need a car or, at least, a moped. Then, if you want from the warm coast in less than an hour you will reach the ancient capital of Montenegro - Cetinje, where in winter you can have a lot of fun playing snowballs, and if you spend a little more time on the road - you will find yourself on the snow-covered slopes of Zabljak.
An availability of thousand euros can allow the unpretentious connoisseurs of the classics to buy an old hundred and ninetieth "Mercedes". Also in special honor is the Volkswagen Golf, a Balkan sacred cow. Local chic - tuned "Yugo" (pictured below). I myself sometimes think of buying this - true, confuses the saying: "Jugo ne za dugo" ("Yugo" is not for long).
If you are a refined gourmet, then you will have to rely only on yourself: the top of the culinary skills of Montenegrin cooks is the ability not to spoil the first-class products. But the food here is of truly excellent quality: vegetables, fruits, eggs, flour ...
The most budgetary product is, oddly enough, meat: right now, in my oven, there is a juicy sham of pork neck with cranberries. A kilogram of fragrant pork costs about 1.8 euros - you must agree, it's inexpensive.
As for the Montenegrins themselves - they eat meat, on this list you can finish. Mention should be only unless the ubiquitous "bakers" - bakeries, offering a huge range of dishes for relatively little money.
"Refined gourmets should rely only on their own strengths: the peak of the skill
of Montenegrin cooks is the ability not to spoil the food."
At once I will make a note, that the Montenegrin habits in general are rather specific. First of all, it concerns the attitude to tobacco. "Pusat", that is, they smoke, if not all, then the vast majority. Smokers are smoky and dense, smoking everywhere and always: in cafes, children's playrooms, offices and at home.
At first, it seems like complete madness, but against the background of general relaxation, it does not cause irritation. And although the law that recently entered into force prohibits smoking in public places, local "momci" (guys), like real partisans, easily sabotage any attempts to encroach on the sacred.
In general, the last five centuries, the entire population of Montenegro was almost continuously under the oppression of the invaders: Turks, Austrians, Italians and God knows who else. Partisan thinking is absorbed here with the mother's milk and is transmitted almost at the genetic level (and I treat it with respect), and practically every Montenegrin under the pillow has at least one shiny trunk - the echo of the recent war. Partly, therefore, any conflicts are solved amicably, and the crime rate is close to zero.
Montenegrins love firearms: any major holiday or wedding is certainly supplemented by firing in the air. If the rakija (local fruit moonshine) was in plenty, then "Momci" without hesitation go to a brother living in the mountains and beg him to allow him to shoot from ... howitzer that rests in the courtyard of his house since the war. Sometimes the brother agrees. Those who want to feel the atmosphere can be advised by a couple of entertaining films: "The Aztec Sun" and the recently filmed Croatian film about the war "Tourne".
"If the amount of moonshine was plenty, the" Momci " go to the mountains without hesitation and
begs their brother to shoot a howitzer. Sometimes the brother agrees".
With such a love for tobacco, Montenegrins are a very beautiful and healthy nation. Along with the Dutch, they rightfully share the title of the tallest people in Europe. Among such an environment it is undeniably pleasant to live. When it comes to health, it comes to ridiculous: from the pains in the stomach, the Montenegrin doctor quite seriously can recommend eating more cheese balls and drinking them with cola. Snot is not a disease, and angina is treated with strong tea with lemon.
In Montenegro, a real cult of men, to grow an heir is one of the most important points in the life of the local. Emigrating women are often frightened by centuries-old patriarchal traditions of this country.
Montenegrin youth, as befits a true highlander, is ready for everything for the sake of his beloved, however, having obtained the desired, immediately loses all interest and uses his newly-made wife clearly for the purpose. Therefore, unmarried maidens do not experience a lack of male attention, but they are very cautious, modest and do not show interest openly.
Having seen the joyous, open emancipated tussel, the mountaineers are harmoniously stacked and ready to pay any money for the opportunity to be close to such a lady, however, one should not be deceived.
"The Montenegrin wounded in battle." From the picture of the Serbian painter Pavle (Paja) Jovanovic.
I'm not at all a fan of Montenegrin mentality and sincerely believe that the best in the Balkans are the Serbs. "Bracha" (brothers) are always open and ready to help, especially in a difficult financial situation. Traveling in Montenegro hitchhiking, you notice an interesting pattern: after a couple of hours of unsuccessful attempts to saddle a ride, the first stopped driver will almost certainly be a Serb or, as a last, Russian. Being in Serbia, Serbska Republika (Bosnia and Herzegovina), or simply meeting a Serb on the street, you can safely embrace this person - he will understand, without exaggeration.
"The best in the Balkans are the Serbs. They are always open and ready to help, especially in a difficult financial situation. Having met a Serb on the street, you can safely embrace this person - he will understand".
Educated and well-brought Serbs also stand out against the backdrop of a poorly developed secular culture in Montenegro. A typical situation in the center of Podgorica: a pretty couple stops in the middle of the Millennium Bridge, in the hands of the lady there is a full package of garbage. She says: "My dear, wait a minute!" He waits.
Then "Mrs." unhurriedly unleashes the package and with childish joy on her face throws all the contents of the bag into the river, but not immediately, "polaco," one bottle by one. Following the bottles on the tree below hangs and the package itself. It's done, she takes her lover by the arm, and they smoothly go further on their business.
Herceg Novi, a beautiful settlement on the northern outskirts of the Bay of Kotor, has the largest percentage of the Serb population. We really loved this beautiful city together with its cultural inhabitants and rich history. Perhaps the only drawback of Herceg Novi is that it is very far from the rest of Montenegro. After living there for about a month, and then moving to Podgorica, I thought that I had inadvertently crossed the border of another state.
Podgorica is a local Barnaul or, if you want, Biysk. Unreasonably expensive housing, a 50-degree summer heat, a dull winter with winds tearing the roof from the houses, an eternal smog from wood-burning stoves and diesel cars, hovering packages over the houses and, of course, gypsies who famously cut their three-wheeled pepelas (while Herceg-Novi gipsies are only two, and every resident is perfectly familiar with them).
"Podgorica is such a local Biysk. Expensive housing, 50 degree- heat, eternal smog and gypsies, famously dissecting on tricycle pepelaca."
At the same time, the crystal clear river, the chic old Turkish quarter of Stara Varas, a lot of lovely establishments and pubs, as well as the life boiling by local standards cover the entire "capital" negativity. Along with numerous monuments in honor of the partisans, King Nikola and others, monuments to Pushkin have been erected here and - attention ... to Vladimir Vysotsky, with a skull at the base. The sacred meaning of this sculpture remains a mystery to me.
By the way, about the attitude towards the gypsies: literally today, slowing down on the "zebra", my Serbian friend looked at the people who were crossing the road for a long time, then happily exclaimed: "Gazi, brate, to su ciganje!" (press accelerator, brother, these are gypsies! ).
With foreigners, especially those from the former Soviet Union, there are very interesting metamorphoses. Among other nuances - Montenegrin life as quickly as possible reveals all aspects of your character, by analogy with litmus paper serves as a marker of your decency.
So, Montenegro is full of amazing people, however, a whole galaxy of Russian-speaking "hucksters" is hunted down, the favorite occupation of which is to let their countrymen down. Therefore, when it comes to money or documents, it is worthwhile to think twice before seeking help from unfamiliar compatriots. As they say, beware of russke.
"Montenegro is full of amazing people, but there the Russian-speaking" hucksters" are trading, whose goal is to betray compatriots for money".
Of course, there is still much to tell, but it's better to come and see everything with your own eyes. Exploring the Balkans is a total pleasure: the contradictory and in its own way European Bosnia and Herzegovina, a huge interesting Serbia. Until I got to Albania - I need to wait for permission to enter - but I'm already looking forward to these gilded busts of Stalin in the courtyards of houses, almost complete absence of traffic rules and other elements of local color.
In general, after a while, there are only two options for "outsiders": either to abandon forever attempts to understand this people, or to fall head over heels in the Balkans - which we did.