I’m sitting in an air-conditioned cafe just up from Strahinjica Bana, to strip of cool bars and cafes known as “silicon valley” to the locals due to it’s disproportionate number of surgically enhanced females in expensive dresses and high heels. I’ve got a cheeseburger and coffee within comfortable reach and I’m reflecting on this, the last day of my ten-night trip.
Since June 2014 I’ve been really “in my head” about Belgrade. For the previous two years it had been my prime feeding ground, supplying me twelve supple young girls all but two of whom were very hot. I’d just finished four weeks in May 2014 and decided to extend my trip an extra two weeks. The logic was obvious – I’d just knobbed six girls and had another three regulars on the go from previous trips. My usually modest self (heh!) couldn’t help but crow about my own awesomeness. So, I called my landlord and turned four weeks into six.
It was a big mistake.
Those last two weeks were spent alone and quickly became Groundhog Day. I’d fallen out with Bodi about a week earlier and Tom had been and gone. So just me, staring at the same four walls every morning. Same cafe for breakfast, same walk through Studentski Square up to the same Knez Mihailova. Same familiar battle between the ego (“get more notches”) and the hindbrain (“who gives a fuck, you’ve had enough”). I had a few near misses but for final game results, the last two weeks were a bust.
I continued to fuck a rotation of five, as the others dropped off. But it wasn’t much fun anymore.
Just as generals are determined to fight the previous war, I went back in September for another month to see if I could recapture the magic. Same apartment, same cafes, same streets. Socially things went well this time – my old buddy Jabba was in town a while – plus a good guy we’d met in Budapest the month before. I also met an American dude in the gym and we got on well. No homo.
It was a disaster for girls. Almost all of my rotation collapsed. A couple had new boyfriends. A couple more were out of town all month. A couple more were just mysteriously uninterested. Try as I might I just couldn’t motivate myself to open. Every day I bumped into a girl I’d already dated or fucked. All the staff at the different restaurants recognised me. I realised I was feeling the “spotlight effect” – that awkward feeling of having a bullseye painted onto your back and everyone is watching your sets. Belgrade was no longer that place “over there” that I raid like a horny Viking. It was now “over here”, a place I knew well and it knew me. In the second week I got intense toothache and ended up having a difficult wisdom tooth extraction. Complications meant it wasn’t until February 2015 that I finally had my teeth sorted and the pain gone.
I did same-day-lay a virgin in one hour, but that was a glimpse of glory completely against the run of play. Kind of like Wigan’s cup-winning header in the last minute against Manchester City. The reality was my vibe and game were in the shitter every time I breathed Serbian air.
So I gave Belgrade a wide berth for months. In April 2015 I’d spent a week in in Zagreb with Tom and while perusing Skyscanner it became clear it was way cheaper and more convenient to return from there to Prague via Belgrade than anywhere else. So, feeling very very weird, I took the motorway bus from Zagreb to Belgrade and gave it two nights. Perhaps the six-month break had changed things?
Nope. I did one set – which turned into an idate – but most of the time I just sat in a cafe with a paperback novel, gazing into space wondering what had happened to my love affair for Belgrade. I got lucky when a cold lead from 2014 messaged me and came round for sex. So I got another notch I hadn’t really earned. Then back to Prague. Fast forward to June 2015 and I’m sitting in a Riga cafe with Eddie from Street Attraction. He tells me his team are doing a Yugoslav tour in July with a few students – much like Rock Solid Game had done in 2012. “I’m fucking sick of Serbia” I tell him, “and July is a bad time. It’ll be unbearably hot.”
Nonetheless I think if I don’t join them on this trip it’s highly likely I won’t visit Belgrade at all. The last thing I want is to run through Groundhog Day again just to fuck yet more Serbs but….. damn they are rather hot and well – it won’t do any harm to get a few more hottie-notches, right? I doubt I’ll even straighten my head out enough to do the sets. [Note, I only had this inner game issue in Belgrade. My trips to other cities were more like the good old times]. Fuck it, I didn’t have anything else lined up for July. Even if I spend all month playing video games and reading detective novels that’s no different to what I’d do if I stayed in Newcastle. Might as well keep myself in the game. So I booked ten nights and told Eddie I was coming.
I declined my usual apartment, even though it’s got the world’s greatest logistics and is cheap as chips. No-More-Groundhog-Day.
I arrive on Monday afternoon and do a set on the way to my new apartment, just to break the duck. I lie down on the bed and fall asleep until 8pm. It’s unbelievably hot and humid. On Tuesday I try to start a number farm. My first nine sets are deplorable – we’re talking Berba/Cassell/RSD level. I feel weird and that unsettles the girls. On set ten I idate a stunner. It goes really well (She flakes). On my way home a local PUA recognises me and chats. A nice guy, but it’s not doing my Spotlight Effect any good.
I sit in the new Boutique cafe restaurant for a steak. It’s late in the day now so there’s a cool breeze and Knez Mihailova is filling up with locals doing their daily pilgramage to Kalemegdan fortress. Just as I stand up to get my wallet for the check, I happen to look out over the street…. and lock eyes with a blonde girl I’d deflowered in May 2014 who now hates me. She gives a shocked look, sniffs, and turns away. This fucking spotlight effect…..
Wednesay afternoon and Street Attraction roll into town – six of the fuckers including students. Their vibe is great and it’s immediately fun. We hang out a lot. I join in the opening and my vibe is as good as it’s ever been I take some numbers. I get recognised by another travelling PUA (an American) and bump into another girl I fucked last year. Thursday is my day of glory. Two German PUAs fly in to join the scrum so there are now ten active foreign PUAs infesting the small daygame area. It’s like a swarm of locusts (and I’m equally to blame). Somehow it doesn’t matter and I pull eight numbers from a procession of hotties and idate a stunner – 18yr old star ballerina. I’m feeling good again. Somewhere deep inside I feel the accumulated multi-year Belgrade weirdness crack, splinter and collapese. This town feels normal again. I’m so relieved!
Of course it isn’t normal – there are ten PUAs burning it – and I get a few girls eye roll me when I hit the “I just saw you and…” line. Word spreads that some local Asian chode had been running a bootcamp the week before [that must have been absolutely dreadful] and another more well-known outfit just did so too. Then we notice a group of Serbian PUAs doing daygame so bad even RSD cultists would feel embarrassed. They are literally following girls down the street trying to high-five them. I watch seven sets and don’t see a single hook point before I turn my back in disgust.
We continue to open for the next few days. There’s the usual hits and misses but it’s pretty good. Then we all start to notice a tremendous flake problem, combined with an even worse “I have a boyfriend and I love him” problem. In my nine prior visits I’d never had so many promising leads amount to nothing and the Street Attraction guys were having the same issues. We realised Belgrade had finally been burned. Girls were asking “are you one of those guys who runs up and down Knez Mihailova trying to fuck girls?”
Um…. yes. I kind of wrote the book on it…..
So that’s how the first week in Belgrade looked. On the plus side I’d broken out of my one-year in-my-head Belgrade weirdness so I was now opening and getting lots of hot girls in my phone book, and on the negative the place was burned and I was suffering immense frustration from flakes. The low point was getting recognised yet again by yet another foreign PUA who then spent half an hour spinning tall stories that – had they been true – would make him the Usian Bolt of daygame.
And, fifty sets in, I still hadn’t been laid.
To be continued…..