the Dorchol chronicles I: Occupy Slava

At the doorstep of an apartment in Kapetan Misina I am greeted with a small glass of red wine and a spoonful of sweet boiled wheat.

I’ve been invited to a friend’s slava – a traditional Serbian Orthodox celebration of saints. His family saint is St. Archangel Michael and the slava is known as Arandjelovdan.

In the wintertime there is a cluster of them, between the end of October and mid-January.

They are a good opportunity – or excuse – to bring together family and friends and overindulge in sweet, greasy and alcoholic delights of Serbian cuisine.

A few hours pass in mingling, drinking more wine or rakija, and eating.


Suddenly, they materialize, almost chimerically, that I think someone had rubbed a golden lamp, sending a gust of voodoo fairies onto the mellow, cozy apartment scene. I half-expect their cigarettes to double as magic wands, as they open with: “We are here for your very own wish-fulfillment!”

Five of them, young, tall, and would be beautiful if they hadn’t gone overboard with flamboyance.

Like a flock of exotic birds, their clashing ‘feathers’: bright dresses, scarves, shoes, handbags, jewellery, makeup, and attitude occupy the space. They stir the air, suddenly changing consistency, making it denser and somehow fussier, either from the intensity of their perfumes, or just the abrupt surplus of exhilaration.

They carry in some remnants of a previously shared joke, an overstated laughter that everyone else is too late to join in on.

Their slender fingers with long, impeccably manicured nails hold slim cigarettes to their pouty mouths, which swiftly brush against a few cheeks around the room. Their coiffed hairs whip behind them like veils, or are they just moving too fast against the relaxed vibe?

They bat their long curly eyelashes and animatedly flicker their eyebrows, unabashedly flirting with everyone, young and old. None of them eat a bite but throw back a dozen drinks and burn up a whole pack of cigarettes. They speak rapidly in a terse Belgrade slang while toasting to health, love and good times.

Every word and maneuver is infused with drama, like a previously rehearsed performance piece with just the right dose of satire.


And just as abruptly as they burst in, they re-mobilize and depart: a trail of one blazing red scarf retreats like a flicker of fire down a long corridor and out the door.

Their signature air also almost perceptibly ebbs, leaving us all behind, in a post-apocalyptic vacuum.

– ..did everyone just witness this? Did it really happen?

– They’re classic silicon troops, fun, but superficial.. Don’t pay them too much thought.

9 thoughts on “the Dorchol chronicles I: Occupy Slava

  1. haha you’re right, a single invitation gets you a ‘lifetime pass’. But the birds were actually the host’s classmates, so I guess they earned one a long time ago. They weren’t crashers, and besides, without them, it would have been just another slava story (:

  2. Maybe they were not invited to that particular slava at this time, rather than being on the guest list from many years earlier. This is one of the slava traditions: once invited for the first time, consider yourself an invitee for years to come. It is an honour to be invited to one’s slava, but it is your duty to remember it, mark down the date in your calendar, and pay a visit to the family on that date every year, again and again…
    So, going back to your birds: Have you ever found out whether they were on the guest list, or they were simply the modern slava crashers, the silicon troops, hoping to find some persons of interest for their “superficial” dreams?
    Eagerly waiting for the sequences.

  3. Hey you rebel,

    loved your words – was there with you, having been wispedly air kissed then to stare down the hall at the fiery red remnant as the furies fled….

    good on you. I am wanting to know more about you. I am inventing intrigue in the air and will unashamedly massage it forward.

    I contacted you a time ago, and you responded – wondering if there is forward energy at this time??? Seriously, I am launching an energy that intends to strike at the greedy underbelly of the powers that be, or ….. were.

    If interested, please mail me a response and I will send along some draft attachments for your perusal. I live in the Argentine Patagonia, and have been a rebel for many years, check out to see how we live and that we are readying for what may come….



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