The old, clunky tram #2 rides in a circle from lower Kalemegdan Park (or Kalish) uphill, grazing the top of the famous pedestrian street, Knez Mihailova, then downhill towards the Sava embankment, passing the main train station, Slavija square, Tashmaidan Park (or Tash), the Faculty of Law, and closing the circuit at Cara Dushana, near the Zoo.
As it rides around the rim of central Belgrade, everything within the #2 circuit is in the heart of the city.
If you are looking, say, for real estate property in central Belgrade, you only have to say that you want to be “within the #2 circle”.
In the more modern parts of town they recently unveiled the new, shiny, sleek, futuristic design, but I like these old rusty tin boxes more (# 2, 5 and 10) – they embody the eastern European spirit better, as they ride along the cobbled, tree-lined boulevards. The new space shuttles on rails don’t even belong on Dorchol.
The other night a heavy fog descended on the lower city, and since most lights on these trams have long been smashed, only the clanking of the corroded tires against the tracks and the friction of the cables intermittently throwing sparks gave away their position as they disappeared and reappeared from the thick fog.
I’m riding toward Slavija in the afternoon rush hour. The car is completely full and we are all standing closely pressed against one another. Everyone is respectful and composed, only an occasional shared look or a considerate comment slipping by.
My friend, let’s call him Mr. Z, is trying as best to retain his composure, and then, no discomfort or anger in his voice, he very politely says to the woman standing jammed against him: “madame, may I kindly ask you to withdraw your elbow from my kidneys, please.”