|Going every day to the shelter we were always hoping it was the last time we go there. Every day we hoped the bombing will stop, some peaceful solution will be found. It was first said it will last two days and NATO will give an ultimatum break. But it continued for a week. Then it was said it will last two weeks and then it will end. After it was obvious that our Army will not surrender and that it has no serious damage or losses there have began rumors about a NATO ground offensive. After more than one month of waiting for an end of bombing, after many hard nights spent in basement cafes I became tired of all that. I was longing for just one night of normal sleep in a soft white bed, in pajamas, in silence and calmness. So when NATO planed its 50th anniversary celebration we all hoped it will mean the end of bombing. I suddenly decided on that weekend ( the end of April ) not to wait until the day of celebration, but to go with my family to some safe hotel or motel, far from NATO targets in the downtown, and have a good and long||
sleep there, waiting there for "soon" ending of war . It was Friday and I phoned to some hotels, but they were all closed. I tried with some motels around Novi Sad, so I got one about 20 kilometers far which had free rooms and was working. It was in a village I knew was never bombed before. I told my wife and daughter to prepare some clothes, ordered a taxi and in fifteen minutes we were leaving Novi Sad to take a rest.
first motel night was relaxing. I could finally take off my clothes and
sleep without thinking if I'll have to get up and go somewhere during the
night. The night was quiet and we got the so needed rest.
We thought bombing will end. But the next night NATO continued the bombing with even more intensity than before. The Novi Sad oil refinery was bombed so hard that flames were visible high in the sky although from 20 km distance. Fire was burning all night long and soon we could smell the smoke from it, from such a distance, even all windows were closed! In the morning the black smoke was still coming from Novi Sad over wide fields and above our motel. It was an unbelievable image, image of catastrophe, of the end of civilization. Thick smoke was threatening to poison us, the plants, the animals.
We decided not to go back to Novi Sad and to stay few more days in the motel. On Monday Marta and I went to work, and Mariana to her faculty in Novi Sad by bus, which took about 20 minutes. After work we went back to the village to sleep and relax.
Smoke was coming from the burning Novi Sad oil
refinery 20 kilometers away, for several days,
threatening to poison people, plants and animals.
Thanks God there was no rain in that period.
in village was safe for us. There was no bombing, planes just went over
us to bomb Novi Sad, but we could still hear the detonations and windows
and doors were sometimes shaking and trembling of them. Villagers were
afraid after hearing planes and our artillery. They used to open windows
during the air raid alarms and go to the shelter, although the village
was never bombed. For us it was funny, because we were accustomed to much
more dangerous situations. We never reacted to the sound of planes or sirens,
because we knew there is no direct danger for us there.
One night during sleep I heard roaring of planes and soon after several detonations. I grabbed my transistor radio which was always near me, to hear the location of bombing. But there was silence everywhere on the radio scale. It was night, total darkness, no sound from radio. It was like the end of the world. After many efforts going trough the radio scale I caught some very weak radio signal from some small town in Serbia which reported that the electrical distribution system of the entire state was completely out of function. NATO has thrown graphite cluster bombs on our electricity transmitters destroying most of links. What could we do, we continued our sleep, and in the morning we found out there is no water supply too, because of lack of electricity. We found ourselves in a Middle Age situation with problem where to eat, how to wash ourselves, how to use toilet etc. Thanks God our electrical system was fixed during that same day.
The bombing of electrical system repeated several times in the following days so we were thinking of finding some other place to stay where there is a stove and well, so that we can manage living in such situations. The same problem we would have if we were in Novi Sad. So we decided to rent a part of a house in the village with stove and well. We began our search and it took few days till we found it. We have found a nice four room house, with bathroom and kitchen, a big yard with fruit and vegetable garden. Only a woman was living there so we could use two bedrooms and other departments too. With time we became very good friends with our host Anica who helped us a lot in such bad situation. Electricity and water supply was cut for days so Marta and Anica cooked nice lunches and dinners on the stove. We always had hot water on the stove for tea or coffee, also for washing ourselves and clothes. Also the stove made it pleasantly worm in the kitchen and room, where we used to sit by candles and talk or listen to music from transistor radio. It was a new kind of life for me, a country life which I never tried before. I was happy I am with my loved family, wife and daughter, and with nice woman Anica, who had every day a plenty of work in her garden and in the field. Needless to say that we were so much more relaxed than being in town, and we didn't bother about NATO planes and bombs anymore. Of course with all our hearts we were longing for end of the war and couldn't wait the day when we will go back to our real home.
We spent days walking trough and around the village, which was really beautiful, or we spent time in the garden. We were going to Novi Sad only to work, and then hurry back "home". Mariana found a good friend in the village so they used to spend time in the garden, and in the evening they went to walk, or to disco. She also went to Novi Sad meeting there her old friends in the bomb shelter, where she used to stay over night sometimes. We were in touch by cellular phone so we didn't worry too much about her.