Follow-up: Serbia (with photos & videos) What insights did I get by traveling via Romania – Hungary – Serbia – Hungary – Austria – Slovakia – Hungary – Romania again? (2010.03.19-04.01)

Between 19th of March and 1st of April 2010 I went on this path: Romania-Hungary-Serbia-Hungary-Austria-Slovakia-Hungary-Romania again. Come with me to explore the insights this trip brought in me.

Common traits for Hungary, Serbia, Hungary and Austria

A lot of nice things happening on the street:
a. People having coffee in cafes;
b. Lot of closed streets, dedicated to walking;
c. Rather large sideways;
d. Lots of benches;
e. Sitting on the grass was allowed;
f. Dogs were everywhere;
g. Stray dogs were close to nowhere (I’ve seen one in Serbia);

Lots of emphasis put on bicycles:
a. There were bicycle red lights;
b. I’ve seen passages dedicated to bicycles;
c. How about special places for parking bicycles?
d. A lot of roads had signs dedicated to bicycles;
e. Due to road taxes, parking, pollution taxes, having a car was rather expensive;
f. Finally, a lot of people had bicycles;
g. There were a lot of people on vehicles other than cars – bicycles, bikes, and other rather uncommon vehicles in Romania;

Little emphasis put on advertising:
a. A lot of advertising was done in dedicated places (something like a round cylinder with rotating ads, or an advertising bus, or a panel with advertising);
b. Most advertising was non-intrusive (it was at a rather reduced level);
c. Stores who advertised their products did this in a rather non-intrusive way (not too much advertising);
d. If there was a multinational company present in a country, the architecture of the store was still the one in the city, and not what you’d expect from a 21st century company (modern, glass, steel); So, if it was, let’s say, a McDonald’s, it would look like a typical building in that city/town, with just minor advertisements;

About the good old looks of some buildings
a. What struck me most in places like Subotica, Budapest, Vienna, was the fact that there were a lot of old buildings; You could go for minutes and minutes via foot and still find old buildings to shoot; I’ve seen places in Bucharest where there are some old buildings, or streets with old buildings; But to see (almost) full cities made of old buildings – well, that’s something!
b. To make an (unwelcoming) comparison, to me, the best looking old buildings in Subotica, Budapest, Vienna, looked better than the ones I’ve seen in Romania;
c. A restored building usually still had an air of an ancient construction;
d. From time to time (mostly in Vienna and in Budapest), I felt that I could be placed in any given spot in that city and still find something beautiful to shoot;
e. Some places had an interesting mix of old and new – and it almost never felt awkward;

About green spaces
a. There were lots of parks and trees, and green areas;
b. Most green areas were nicely taken care of;

About sidewalks
a. Most sidewalks had a pretty small height (unlike those I’ve seen in Romania);
b. Most sidewalks had special facilities to go on them by a wheel vehicle (wheelchairs, roller blades, strollers, bicycles, for example);

About exceptions
a. I’ve seen from time to time either stray dogs, or people living in the street, or graffiti; But, to me it was an exception which made the overall impression even better; If one piece of the whole isn’t as good as the others, then it’s fine;
b. Exceptions also helped me consider the cities as made by humans; From time to time I got the impression of seeing things built by something more than human;

Regarding beggars
a. I’ve seen quite a lot of street people in Budapest, Hungary; There were also some beggars in the rest of the cities I’ve been to; To me it’s quite a paradox: on one hand you see luxuriant living, nice buildings, beautiful people and on the other hand there are people who can barely survive; That’s also part of the capitalist world;
b. In Bratislava I’ve seen one box with indications to put food in that box, rather than throwing it at the garbage; It’s some sort of recycling;
c. The performing artists on Vienna’s street were very good at what they did;

Specific insights & pictures

2010.03.19 a. Romania – places photos – view full screen

2010.03.19 b. Hungary – places photos – view full screen

2010.03.19 – 2010.03.28 a. Serbia – places photos (by Jakub PILCH) – view full screen

2010.03.19 – 2010.03.28 b. Serbia – places photos (by Olivian BREDA) – view full screen

2010.03.19 – 2010.03.28 c. Serbia – places photos (by Agota JAKUS) – view full screen

2010.03.19 – 2010.03.28 d. Serbia – training photos (by Agota JAKUS) – view full screen

2010.03.19 – 2010.03.28 e. Serbia – training photos (by Justyna FRYDRYCH) – view full screen

2010.03.28 – 2010.03.29 Hungary – places photos – view full screen

2010.03.29 a. Austria – places photos – view full screen

2010.03.29 a. Austria – places videos

2010.03.29 b. Slovakia – places photos – view full screen

2010.03.29 b. Slovakia – places videos

2010.03.30 – 2010.03.31 Hungary – places photos – view full screen

2010.03.30 – 2010.03.31 Hungary – places videos

2010.03.31 – 2010.04.01 Romania – places photos – view full screen

What insights did I get by visiting these countries?

a. From time to time things got exciting; I felt a bit as the times when I came to Bucharest and living on my own; Pretty cool;
b. A change on my view about immigration (this decision was mostly made prior to the trip, but it was cleared in the trip; there is no relation between point b. and c. or d., they’re independent decisions);
c. Some thoughts on bullying; (I also had similar thoughts on gossiping – it’s just an act in one uses someone else’s actions to gain power)
d. Regarding my (little-to-none) aggreession.

I enjoyed the trip very much and had some good insights.

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