Anywhere you live there are bound to be flaw. I’ve expressed openly that I love living here in Serbia and that I think there are many fantastic things about it. However, this last week I probably would have taken the first flight back to California if the option presented itself. The last seven days have had me pulling my hair out and I’ll tell you why.
It starts with their absolutely miserable Postal system. I cannot express how terrible, nor how frustrating it is to try and send mail or pick it up. Firstly, when you miss a package delivery they leave you a note either inside or outside of your mailbox… apparently it depends what they’re feeling that day. Then, they’ll write you a note with a day and time that they claim to have come up to your apartment and rang your doorbell. However, it’s strange, because I’ll be home at that exact time.. but somehow I went deaf for the two minutes that they were there waiting at my door to give me my package. Can you tell I’m frustrated? Wait, it gets better. So then you have five business days to go pick up your package before THEY SEND IT BACK TO WHERE IT CAME FROM. WHICH IN MY CASE, IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. As I was saying, you have five business days to come to the specific office they tell you and come get your package. If you’re really lucky, it’ll be one of the offices that close at 2 pm every day and you work a 9-5 job. I was lucky enough to arrive early on the 5th day to claim my package, which I wasn’t expecting. But then… oh yes… they tell me they sent it back to customs about an hour earlier and that there’s nothing they can do. So you call customs to see if you can get it back or pick it up before it leaves, duh. I mean obviously it’s not in and out within an hour. So you call the number that has 38 reviews and a 1.2-star rating and no one picks up because they don’t feel like it. Now your package is heading back to where it came from, after its 3-week journey to arrive. VIVA SERBIA.
But if you think their bureaucracy is a joke, wait until you meet any customer service representative. It should probably be renamed to the “f*ck you representative” because they don’t care. Not about you, not about what you bought, not about anything. Returns here are nonexistent, regardless of what the policy states so don’t bother checking. Hours seem to vary depending on the mood of the store, so checking online hours means nothing. I mean, it’s really awesome and I enjoy making any purchases with the help of the awesome Serbian staff. Want to pay with a card? Probably not. Go ahead and walk yourself to the closest ATM you can find to pull out cash so you can walk back and buy the items that are officially yours for the rest of eternity. It doesn’t matter if they malfunction or completely break…. it is yours. Is my passive-aggressiveness too obvious yet?
So now you head home to do some laundry, clean the house, all of the good things that make your heart soar. You run a huge load of laundry and then you can fold it over a drying rack because dryers are not a thing in Serbia (or in Spain) and they’re for the rich. Yes, it’s true. Having a washer AND a dryer is a luxury. So make sure you splurge on a fancy detergent because that is what your living space will smell like 24/7. Mine is lavender with a mix of puppy pee. It’s a unique aroma.
As you’ve probably noticed, this read is a little different from my usual blogs but I hope you felt my frustration and also laughter about all the difficulties that I encounter here that were nonexistent in the US. Being able to look back and laugh is always something that keeps me going abroad when I have a bad week. It’ll never be perfect, but it’ll always be what you make it.