the cyclist

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This post is about my friend Rajko the cyclist. I stay with him in Niš, and I play with his dogs until I fall asleep.

I am staying with Rajko, a retired technician and cyclist. He reminds me of my old friend Uncle Shen from Ürümqi. Just like Uncle Shen, Rajko also waited until his retirement until he started his travels. He has cycled to Denmark and France in the west and to Armenia in the east. To him, he says, all cyclists are like brothers and sisters. And walkers, too, he adds. He thinks cars are shit and has never owned one in his life.

He looks at the Caboose and smiles.

I guess I’m tired

Raijko’s family has four dogs and two cats. I play with them in the garden, and then we sit under a tree and have tea and cookies.

At lunch, after having had two shots of rakia, I fall asleep in my seat while everyone around me is still talking.

Then Raijko’s son Ivan offers to take me to a giant grocery store. I want to see the local vodka brands, and I want to stock up on trail mix and ajvar.


Ajvar reminds me of lyutenitsa in Bulgaria, only that it apparently doesn’t contain any tomatoes. It can also be quite spicy. This seems to be a general thing: Serbs prefer their cuisine to burn a little, much more so than Bulgarians.

In the evening football is on the TV. ATH is playing ATM. I have no idea who that is, but there is a little line of text at the top, and it seems to be a political statement: STOP INVASION.


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