Kiri and


Ruma has it

November 30th, 2013 (by Steve)

Croatia quickly. Serbia slowly. It’s not that we’ve planned it that way, but it’s kind of happened like that. As with all of this trip, there’s only so much planning you can do, then the rest just happens!

After a night outside a motel close to the Serbian border, we drove to the town of Ruma, where we met our hosts; Drago and Jaroslava. Drago welcomed us into his home with the words “this is my wife” (gesturing to Jaroslava) “and this is my other wife” (gesturing to another young lady), before saying “of course I’m joking”. This set the tone for the warm welcome and hospitality that we received from their family (and Eldina, who was the other lady referenced). In fact, so warm was their hospitality, that they insisted on giving up their bed on the first night, saying that they said they would feel uncomfortable knowing that we were their guests, yet asleep outside their house. Once they saw Bertha the following day though, they were able to see that actually she’s really quite comfortable, so accepted our offer to sleep in her for the rest of our time with them.

Classic Serbia

Drago and Jaroslava lead a church in Ruma, where their particular focus is on helping people with drug addictions, as Drago used to be an addict himself and has an amazing story of recovery from that. Whilst we were there though, the church (who also help to distribute Operation Christian Child shoeboxes in Ruma) were setting up a temporary second hand clothes store with donated clothes from a church in Germany. Neither of us are clothing experts, but we were able to help with putting up posters around the town (where there appears to be a massive flyering culture!) and sorting clothes before the shop opened. The rush of customers on the first day confirmed to us the need that there obviously is for cheap clothes… we take second hand shops for granted in the UK.


Back to the hospitality – absolutely second to none. The moment we walked through the door we were offered a cup of kafa (the Serbian version of a Turkish coffee) and the sustenance just kept flowing from there! From tasty stews, to breads, to burek and Steve’s favourite, pljeskavica we were fed incredibly well. Our offering of a cup of tea in Bertha for Drago + Jaroslava seemed tiny in comparison to what they offered us, but at least we were able to offer something. This is the first time that we’ve entertained people in Bertha since we’ve left the UK, but hopefully it will have started a trend.


One of the things that we liked the most in Ruma was the culture of family; Drago + Jaroslava have 4 lovely kids under the age of 7 who were fascinated by these strange adults who only knew a few words in Serbian. We had great fun entertaining them (it’s amazing how many games still work without language) and they entertained us too. But it wasn’t just their family that we hung out with; several times in the few days we were in Ruma we either went around to someone else’s house where there were loads of kids, or people came round to Drago + Jaroslava’s house. I think the record was 11 kids in one place; absolute chaos, but what a great way to live. Kiri’s broodiness picked up a pace!

Superb people!

Sadly all good things come to an end and after all, whilst visiting and helping people is part of this trip, we must travel too. So we hit the road again… hoping to keep moving to avoid the imminent snow!

All posts about Serbia

Back to school

Ruma has it

To toll or not to toll…

Balkans out of season in a motorhome

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