The heat is on

“And we have some incredible news just in!”, I heard a hoarse voice (you never can tell if it’s a man or a woman) scream over the radio two days ago.

My heart skipped a beat. Could it be? August 22nd – the ‘We finally got rid of the dictator day’? Nope.
“The temperature has just dropped by two degrees centigrade!”

If somebody had been in the room with me, they could’ve heard the bubble bursting.

But that’s how hot it has been over the past couple of weeks. Forty two degrees in Belgrade, and even hotter in other parts of the country. Only the heat isn’t the real problem. The real problem would be the UV index that everyone keeps getting reminded of over the state media, along with the usual “don’t forget to put high SP factors and have sunglasses with UV filters on”.

I’d do that, honestly I would. If only someone could find me a pair of UV filter sunglasses than don’t cost half of what my folks make in a month. And by Serbia’s standards, they make quite a lot.

I could even, somehow, probably, if I try hard, get over the fact I can’t get out of the house without getting skin cancer. What I will never be able to stand, however, is that ‘I want to piss everyone off’ attitude I get every time the summer is hot, humid and really sticky.

So far I’ve managed to insult everyone in my family (mother, father, brother & co), plus a dozen or so friends and relatives I never really get along with too well anyway. Not that they don’t deserve it. All you have to do is tell them the truth of who, or in most cases what, they actually are and they’ll be mad at you for at least a month.

Of course, every good physiatrist will tell you that it’s themselves and not you they are mad at, and they would probably be right. But believe you me, figuring out your real feelings is one thing most people will never be able to do (as will a few fresh bruises I have on me confirm).

I heard someone say that better days are ahead, and in more ways than one. First they predict a cooling during the rest of the week. Ok, they got that part right, it’s well under forty today (I’d say somewhere between 39 and 39 and a half). And then there are the elections.

Now, I have some trouble dealing with that. Not that I have anything to deal with, of course, since I can’t vote yet, but I’m still very much concerned about the results. Some say, and by ‘some’ I don’t mean only the government’s supporters, that the socialist party will win again, with or without a bit of result tweaking. Others think that the opposition, and when I say opposition I don’t even take that dirty, son of a something, ‘if-I-don’t-win-it-nobody-will’ bastard Draskovic into consideration, will have at least a five per cent majority.

But as with everything in life, it won’t be that clear cut. In the end, the results will, unfortunately for the voters, be a murky and confusing concoction of both sides’ announcements of victory, a bit of name calling, and at least a month worth of good old street rallying.

There’s one thing with this whole elections business however that I don’t understand. It’s not some big issue or anything, just a tiny detail. The socialists want to win, I think everyone understands that by now. And when somebody wants to win something, at least they wouldn’t want to do anything that would lessen their chances, right?

Then what the hell is the socialist party doing putting my father as the head of the local election (i.e. vote counting) committee, and his father as one of its members?

That in itself isn’t such an important position, since there are thousands of local election committees around the country. Important are the signs that the government officials are getting careless.

Ok, so they both have that party membership card, but they got them years ago, when nobody knew what mess this would turn out to be.

And my father is, I must add, a member of the ‘Resistance’. You know, the ones in black shirts with the fist symbol that keep getting arrested and/or severely beaten by the police. The government maybe wants to get them out of the streets and into jails, but, stupid as they are, the socialists just put one of them, knowingly or not, to be their main man for vote counting in the city of Jagodina.

If it was anyone other than my father in that place (being a socialist, a ‘Resistanc’e member and the head of that comity at the same time), I maybe wouldn’t have wondered about their decision so much. But my father isn’t one of those who likes to keep things fair. He wants his own party to lose, and to lose bad.

Which they will. Only they’ll cover it up. And then there’ll be that confusion I talked about. Then a lot of trouble. Then some more confusion.

And after that, everything will be all right. Hopefully.