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For most people around the world, still, Balkan cities conjure up greying men with stern faces and apartment buildings dotted by bullet holes.
And still, there are plenty of beer bellied 40 year-olds proudly packing man purses and old Communist apartment blocks that needed new pain a century ago, but now they’re filled with vegan food and jiu-jitsu schools that have nearly as many female fighters as men.
Serbia’s capital city is like an intimidating uncle you barely know who’s rough around the edges but when he visits is so interesting, you want to endear yourself to.
All of this takes place in the mostly abandoned BIGZ building, the former headquarters and printing press of National Printing Institution of Yugoslavia.
From Communism to choke holds, Belgrade isn’t taking the conventional road to modernity.
I made the mistake of just showing up, where I hopped on to the Serbian tour.
The guide was very patient and translated everything for me but noted it’s not his preferred tour method.