How I got a visa to the USA through Serbia in three days
When someone says that he is going to get a visa in the USA, he has to nod sympathetically. After the events of 2017 in Russia, it’s almost impossible to wait for the coveted stamp. In Moscow, the waiting time for an interview increased to 300 days. Freelance writer vc.ru Victoria Sokolova had to get to Atlanta, which is called "yesterday", so it was necessary to find a place in which a visa will be made quickly.
In Riga and Warsaw, it was the quickest of all: a record from one to three days. But I did not have a Schengen visa. As a result, the choice fell on Belgrade: I paid the state duty and a week later I was sitting on the plane.
Clearance at customs
The design process is absolutely standard: we go in In the Serbian version of the site, enter the data of your application form DS-160, pay the consular fee and select the date.
It is not necessary to fill in all the data on the questionnaire immediately. To sign up for an interview you will need: state duty (you will have to pay it in local currency - Serbian dinars), DS-160 number, which usually starts with the letters AA, and is located under the bar code.
I did not have any acquaintances and friends in Belgrade who could go to the bank and pay the consular fee. Therefore, I did it remotely through Tinkoff Bank, there is no commission.
One week - waiting for an interview.
Two hours - a live queue at the US consulate.
Three days - waiting for a visa.
A direct flight from Moscow to Belgrade in Aeroflot economy class in one direction cost 12 thousand rubles.
The cost of renting odnushki in the area of Novi Belgrade will cost 1000-1500 rubles per day.
Taxi from the airport to the apartment after 22: 00 hours - $ 22, in the afternoon it would be cheaper by $ 8. If a taxi claims luxury, then $ 30 in the afternoon. Before boarding a taxi, I advise you to clarify whether there is an opportunity to pay with a card, it is not accepted everywhere (with cash - there are no problems, they can be removed at ATMs or exchanged at the exchange office in the baggage claim hall).
There is a Yandex.Taxi in Belgrade, but the service does not yet accept payment by card (the service began to accept payment by card a week ago). At the airport, I ordered their car. Waited for the car 15 minutes, but did not wait. Service opened only in June of this year.
The most convenient is Taxify. Download the application, choose a card payment, and you are in chocolate. There is also Car: GO - this is the local Uber.
If you want to save, then go by bus. For convenience, there is a website in Belgrade Planplus.rs c schedule of all flights. You can pay in cash, but it is twice as expensive as a travel card. Bus and tram tickets can be bought at any Moj Kiosk store. Here you need to be careful: travel cards are zoning, controllers on the line are rare, but there are.
The roots are the same, but you still need a translator in your phone. In English, in my opinion, only waiters at the restaurants in the center and sellers in large shopping centers can express themselves. But even if you can speak in English, anyway, a few phrases in Serbian will simplify communication and will pleasantly surprise your interlocutor.
"Dobar dan" - "Good afternoon."
“Good morning” - “Good morning”.
"Vi Dimose sutra" - "See you tomorrow."
"HvAla" - "Thank you."
"Prieatno" - medium-formal "Goodbye." Need to say when you leave the store, catering. The second meaning is bon appetit.
“Chao” - informal “Hello”, “Bye”.
"We beg the man" - "Account, please."
"Dostunyty rachun" - "Deposit funds."
“Zhao mi, we don’t talk srpski” - “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Serbian.” The most useful phrase in the list. The variant is shorter - “Do not talk srpski, izInite”.
In general, I advise you to mix Russian, English and Serbian languages. Firstly, it is very funny. Secondly, in many cases it works fine.
If you arrived at the airport after midnight and are hoping to buy a SIM-card, it will not work. For me it was an unpleasant surprise, so keep in mind. Wi-Fi at the airport is - one hour for free. During this time, you can catch a taxi and call relatives.
We buy a SIM-card in the same stall as a travel card. To purchase you do not need a passport and a contract, the money is put in the account there. The price of a simple SIM card is about $ 3. There is a special weekly Super Tourist SIM MTS package that includes 4G Internet and 60 minutes of free calls.
Serbia is very tasty, very high in calories and much cheaper than in Europe. You are waiting for a lot of meat, a lot of dough, a lot of potatoes and pastries. If you ask for a standard Caesar, this will be a Serbian variation. The portions are large, most often I could not overpower them alone.
The cheapest and satisfying is Pekara bakery. In Belgrade, they are at every turn. Choose the one with the largest queue. It is really worth it. Be sure to try "Kiflitsu" - a small divine something from the dough, wrapped in a tube. It is with different fillings, but the cheese place occupied a special place in my gluttonous heart.
Ice cream lovers will be happy here. Be sure to take a sample of raspberry. Of course, to the famous Italian as it is to China, but it is much tastier than the Russian.
Want something more interesting? Then order “Te Lacha Cho Rba” - a stew of meat with slices of veal and kaymak. You can eat it in restaurant for locals, tourists go there rarely.
If you are a coffee maniac, then surely try Kurdish coffee. They will bring you something similar to Turkish coffee, but more tart and in a beautiful teapot.
What to see
The whole historical center. I advise you to turn off from the tourist streets and you will be happy. Walls in futuristic graffiti, paved paths, the smell of freshly washed linen on openwork balconies, children playing with knives, old people smoking on the stairs - this is where the real Belgrade is. All popular places can be found on Google’s first request, but I don’t talk about some of them as a crime.
Earthy In Belgrade, there is an area that has long been a separate city. The inhabitants of Zemun are very offended when they are called Belgrade people, they still consider themselves to be a distinctive settlement. Zemun charms from the first minutes, it looks like a city from a fairy tale: with narrow cozy streets, small parks, squares and churches.
You can always feed the swans, listen to street musicians or meet a grandmother in a national Serbian costume on the Zemunsky Kay seafront. Pay attention to the old signs.
Mokra Gora. It is very beautiful and the point. Another interesting attraction is the narrow gauge railway, built almost on sheer cliffs. Track width is only 75 cm.
Avalkaya Tower. You should definitely look at Belgrade from a height, see the restored tower, which was completely destroyed during the NATO bombing of 1999. Moreover, it is free.
What was carrying as souvenirs
Coffee. It is difficult to find in grains, it is easier to buy ground. You can take any, the main thing is that it says that it is produced in Serbia. It will be delicious, you won't be mistaken. It is necessary to cook in a Turk - and the divine aroma is provided.
Opanki - leather, often braided shoes from above like moccasins of Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, southern Slavs. They have different colors, come with patterns and without.
Rakia - moonshine from fruit. The classic version is considered to be raki from plum, but if you try, you can find it from apples, quince or apricots. Search local markets or supermarket.
Bananica is a very popular local sweet. You will not feel any banana, vaguely reminiscent of "Bird's milk" in chocolate. Sold at the checkout in the supermarket one by one or in large packages.
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