Chr*stmas has started properly here now in the UK. In their windows, shops have fake wrapped presents amongst cookware, cheap tinsel wrapped around sports shoes, plastic trees with bargain electronics under them. It really is magical.
It’s actually not.
The seed gets planted in July. The 8th of July there were emails about chr*stmas dinners/parties. Big pubs started putting out festive displays to attract your attention to their pamphletry. There was a gosh darned fully decorated tree at the beginning of August in the Coop. Just to remind you to start saving for the celebration where you throw wads of cash at the baby jebus, hoping that it will buy you his love. It becomes a seedling mid September. ‘Where are you going to be for Christmas this year?’ ‘I’ve already done my shopping’ ’Gosh Christmas comes earlier every year.’ ‘Not a christmas catalogue already?!?’ Even it being talked about here is part of the problem.
And it seems the 2nd Monday in October is the nationally agreed moment that the first buds are allowed to appear. After a quiet unassuming Sunday, i walked to work as usual, but this time i was getting walloped at every shop window with goddam glitter and foil wrapping paper.
One of the best things about being in Montenegro, which is not necessarily clear at the time but hits you on your return, is there are no T*scos. There are no Gr*ggs. There are no McD*nalds. There certainly aren’t any shops with stupid chr*stmas stuff in the windows in October. It’s a breath of fresh air being there (apart from when they decide to burn tyres in Bar). Literally, of course, as it’s a very outdoorsy lifestyle. But also it very much highlights just how cloned and depressing our towns are in the UK, and how we are told how to shop, how to eat. Of course there are chains in Mont of sorts - supermarkets, bakeries, etc. But it is a lot less aggressive. Chains are, without exception, ugly. Ugliness that comes from ubiquity. If you come and visit us, you will be surrounded by beauty of all sorts. The mountains, the sea, the nature. Even beauty that comes from questionable architecture (there is a lot of concrete in Bar). When travelling through, this beauty is born mostly from unfamiliarity. Curiosity. But as this lessens, it becomes a beauty that is authentic, original and sincere. We can’t wait to see you here.
Here are a few more vids. The last look around the building, and walking the 500 metres to Stari Bar main street.