Saturday, June 21, 2003

Shopping: Serbian Style

Yesterday, on my way home from work, I promised myself I would stop by The North American Distribution Centre which is located inside The 747 Travel Agency.

Yes, I admit to a weakness for YU movies, no matter how cheesy.

Now, I know that the name "North Amercian Distribution Centre" makes it sound like it's some huge warehouse full of stuff that needs to be distributed.

In fact, it's a Travel Agency with a little place, in fact, a tiny little corner dedicated to Serbian Music and Videos (I didn't see any DVDs).

So, it's about 6:10pm and I park right in front of 747 . The door is wide open and I walk in.
One of the things I absolutely love about this city, is that I can walk into any ethnic store or restaurant, and whoever approaches me will greet me in that language.
It doesn't matter, Serbian, Italian, Portuguese, Greek....ok...
not all, but many.
I really love that about this city.

I go directly to the little corner and look through the stuff, I pick out 2 movies and ask the older gentleman (who appears to be at least 7 feet tall) to recommend a couple of movies for my mother.
He picks out 2.
One is a comedy and the other is a historical saga type thing.
When he tallies everything up, it appears that I am about 20 bucks short in cash.
I ask about debit:
However, I guessed that from the circa 1965 cash register on the counter.

"Cheque" he says.
"Cheque?" I ask.
"Ma,...Cheeeeeque" he says as if I'm the one that's behind the times.

I write a cheque, and start fumbling through my wallet for my ID.
It's been years since I've written a cheque in a store.

"Vat?" asks he, with brows furrowed and a quick little chin up gesture.
The univeral Mediterranean/Slav gesture for "what the fuck are you doing?"

Me: "My Drivers License, for ID"

Him: "No ID. Our peepl don cheat each odder".


Him (in very polite formal Serbian): "Van da future...I close at da 6 o'clock"

Me: "Oh, the door was open"

Him: "Yes...bat I vas close"

Could have fooled me.