Mariano, the wandering art director, about Belgrade.
I am Mariano, a 30 years old traveling Art Director from the Canary Islands, Spain.
I move from city to city, working in advertising agencies for short periods of time (1-3 months).
After working in Tallinn, Estonia, I got to join McCann Beograd and this are my impressions about the time I spent in Belgrade.
I can say I didn´t know much about Serbia before landing in Belgrade (and still don´t taking to account the enormous history & culture of Serbia & Yugoslavia) apart from historic facts, a few sport players and Kusturica (who’s name I learnt to pronounce correctly thanks to Nemanja) who is a very popular figure in Spain.
I rented a flat for my stay that was not available during my first week in Belgrade, so I was invited by the host to stay with him at his own flat with him and his mother, so basically I instantly discovered the Serbian hospitality, which I heard so much about. My host took me around Belgrade, told me stories and history and taught me how to cook Turkish coffee, which was very useful for the rest of my stay.
At McCann, the working process was different from what I was used to in Spain, especially in timing and production matters, but quickly tried to adapt to the workflow, trying my best to keep up with the rest of the team. I am quite shy and don´t talk that much but everyone helped me integrate quickly and made me feel comfortable so after the first 2 weeks I was working pleasantly. Had the pleasure to work close to Nemanja & Uros who were great guys and it was a new experience to chat with Nemanja through the Google Translate robotic speaking guy… Now when I look back I imagine him speaking with this robotic voice instead of his own voice.
I quickly learnt about Koshava wind. I frequently walked around the city, and walked through cold windy streets and thought that when I turned the next corner, the wind would stop, but it just got worse!
I visited a couple of museums and historic places and was remarkable that for me the space was more attractive than the content. The buildings, architecture, signs and that type of stuff were just aesthetically very powerful. I was also shocked by the amount of textual graffiti on every wall across the city, although I was not able to understand the meaning. I haven´t been across the world but I can say that Serbian girls are the prettiest I have seen.
Most of the people I chatted with were interested in the Catalan conflict in Spain and brought it up in conversations. It was very enriching to know about all this different point of views about Europe, Yugoslavia, Cataluña…
I had quite an amazing experience in Belgrade, very enriching. Staying such a short time in places makes your social life full of little sparks of amazing people with no solid relationships as you leave before they happen, but I met and chatted with so many wonderful people I have to thank everyone at McCann Belgrade and hope to see them again somewhere!