I returned from a short trip to Serbia, not long ago. Again, I was stunned by Serbian hospitality.
I’ve been to Serbia many times in the past, and I got used to being welcomed by generous and hospitable people there. It was not much different this time, or better said, it even exaggerated my expectations.
My friend Anita and I spent three nights in a hotel, which is actually a floating raft (splav) on the Zapadna Morava river by the town of Čukojevac. The owner of this hotel is an older gentleman who introduced himself as Pajo. You can immediately tell, without specifically asking him, that he worked for a long period of time in France, as the hotel itself and its surroundings are very neat and clean, and Pajo himself is very wise and has excellent manners.
Right at the start, the first morning, I spent a lot of time talking to Pajo, just casual chit-chat where I figured out we are pretty well alike. We think of certain things the same way, we agreed on various topics alike and I even found out, Pajo had, a long time ago, a large discotheque and was facing the same problems as I did back in the days.
Once Anita and I finished breakfast and wanted to pay for the meal, mr. Pajo insisted he will cover the bill. We tried to convince him otherwise, but it just didn’t happen as he did not let us.
Since we were extremely happy with mr. Pajo’s gesture, we decided to stay for dinner at Pajo’s as well, in order to at least try and get even for his generous buy of our breakfast. This was a great choice as it turned out the dinner was simply fantastic!
We ended up having breakfast and dinner at Pajo’s for the two days as well, but had to “threaten” him first that we will leave his hotel, if he’ll continue to pay himself for our meals 🙂 We only allowed him to buy us a drink here and there, as it looked like that was really important to him.
On our last day staying in Čukojevac, mr. Pajo offered us an extra day or two to stay at his hotel, for free. If we’d have enough time, we would gladly accept the invitation, as we felt really comfortable there. It felt like visiting a friend whom you know for very long time. Since we did not have time to accept his offer, mr. Pajo generously offered us a two days stay, free of charge, at any time when we arrive again.
It was actually very hard to leave the town of Čukojevac. I know for a fact, that I will return to visit mr. Pajo in the future, definitely.
During our short trip to Serbia, which is the part of my project 20.000 km by car around Europe, my friend Anita and I met very generous people on every corner of our way. It’s really hard to properly describe the hospitality of Serbian people, you simply have to experience it yourself!
I’ve traveled a lot of countries around the world. I’ve been on more than 15 longer trips to Asia, Africa, North and South America, so I can say with certainty that I haven’t met as hospitable people as they are in Serbia. The hospitality must be a part of their DNA 🙂
But it would be of great injustice, while writing about hospitality if I wouldn’t mention the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The people there are also very hospitable, maybe just a little bit less than in Serbia.
The similar opinion on the hospitality of Serbian people as a world-traveler Benka Pulko, who wrote in her best-selling book Pocestnica, that people of Serbia and Iran are the most hospitable in the world.
I often hear many Slovenian travelers ecstatically talking how nice it is to travel around Asia with people there being very friendly and hospitable. It’s actually kind of sad that these travelers can’t see that they actually have 2 very interesting countries just a few hundred kilometers from home, where they will be welcomed a lot warmer than in Asia.
Think about your next trip and pick Serbia! You will have a great time and it will cost you only a fraction of the price you’d pay to travel in other, more exotic countrires! 🙂