Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro. A completely meaningless village that, in some incomprehensible way, has become a whole capital.
In the city, there is exactly one decent street, next to the embassies.
Okay, one and a half streets.
We can finish the story here; the reader already knows absolutely everything about Podgorica.
Okay, there is one interesting detail. In Montenegro, it is customary to hang public obituaries on poles with a message of death and a photograph. Such a tradition exists in many Balkan countries, but there is something else to tell about other countries.
Obituaries are hung based on religion: blue leaflets with a crescent for Muslims, black ones with a cross for Christians, and yes, red ones with a red star for communists.
Pizza is sold for 2 euros in the city center. It’s impossible to eat it: firstly, it’s not tasty, and secondly, for those 2 euros, they throw in everything they can find in the kitchen, and the cafe closes until the next food delivery.
The Parliament of Montenegro resembles a municipal soviet in the Moscow region.
Without moving from the spot, let’s turn the camera 90 degrees counterclockwise away from the parliament.
Let’s walk 100 meters in that direction.
Are you kidding me?
You can’t walk on the sidewalks. Everything is cluttered and broken as if after a war. Wasn’t it Bosnia that fought, not Montenegro?
Architecture. Blood from eyes.
Backyard in a residential area.
No, there’s plenty of that in Russia too. But not five minutes away from the Kremlin!
Even the decent houses in Podgorica are incredibly dreadful.
However, everything falls into place when you remember one simple thing: Montenegro as a whole is not so much a country as a regional appendage that has gained formal independence.
So the poverty here is staggering.
Sometimes you walk and burst out laughing. Like, what is this, for example?
The majority of encountered cars are dilapidated relics of the past century.
I have nothing against it, but Montenegro’s accession to the EU looks quite amusing. The gleaming NATO headquarters against the backdrop of widespread devastation certainly “causes bewilderment and disappointment.”
The island with that headquarters is the only shameless place in the entire city. It’s immediately clear where all the efforts and money are directed towards.
Of course, with such a contrast, it’s very easy to play geopolitics. For several years now, there have been ongoing discussions and the entire city is covered in slogans and posters saying “No to NATO.”
At the time of writing this story, the scandal, in which the authorities of Montenegro claimed that Russian intelligence services were destabilizing the Montenegrin boat of stability, had just begun to subside.
Well, what can I say. The temptation was high.