Something bad is coming
Life was great for me in my high school days, I was spending my time hanging out with my friends until my last high school year. In that last year whole environment around us changed quickly. You could see that all media in the country started to focus on politics and tensions between Yugoslav republics. Instead of economy topics and some BS that you would usually hear on the news, they were talking about upcoming sanctions and conflict that was ready to explode.
Democracy just died here
What used to be a stable economic country with great environment and pleasant atmosphere to live, is gone forever. Many of us wanted to leave the country and some of my friends did, but that was only the privilege of the few. You could only escape if you have money, and of course relatives abroad. But, I didn’t have any of these options as 99% of my fellow citizens. You could see on people's faces that they're smiling less, they're also started to spending less, and only a blind person couldn't see that something bad is coming. As a high school kid you are not paying too much attention on politics, but when some of your best friends are returned from Belgrade's "peaceful protest" beaten by police and some of them are arrested (not being violent), you're starting to realise that same could happen to you very soon.
Turbo Folk phenomenon
Just before war is about to start, ugly kind of music became mainstream music in our country. It's been performed by trashy singers usually willing to show a lot of skin in their performances, and not so much of talent. This new kind of music is (after twenty years) still mainstream music on Serbian radio and TV, and it's simply called Turbo Folk. I would describe it to foreign citizen as some kind of a american redneck trash music. At the time this Turbo Folk was highly influenced with mafia and gangster lifestyle, stupidity, offence, hate, open violence and women degradation. The worst thing was that Turbo Folk was also influenced with dangerous nationalism which was growing up rapidly at that time. That shit was negative cultural phenomenon, many people were instantly hooked and other would just learn how to live with it, but I couldn't.
I don't buy (or sell) that crap
You wouldn't believe how many people around me actually hooked on that bad Turbo Folk shit, they started asking me for domestic music tapes and I was already angry about it. I would never ever listen to it, or sell that crap of music, even if that means that I'm not gonna be earning any money in the future. I wanted to copy and spread only good unknown electronic dance music, to educate people, not to make them stupid and ignorant.
It was the end of my highschool days anyway and I was deciding how to move on with my life, but there was something that was unavoidable, something that will put my life on hold for a year and that was Serbian army. Even if you didn't want to go and you tried to hide from the military police, they would find you and force you to "join" them.
Sometimes they would come in your favorite cafe or club and you'll be escorted out in the truck and that's it. So, I closed down my small taping business, and after I sold all of my equipment, I prepared myself for my army days. I didn't want to be chased like some wild animal in my city, so I decided to go on my schedule. But I didn't want to go, as everybody else that I knew.
Army - The unwanted break
After my high school graduation I sacrificed one year of my life to absolutely unwanted military service. So, I gave one year of my life to my homeland, I paid my "debt" like many other young guys from my city. Luckily for me, I only lost precious time and I've seen some disgusting things, but some of my buddies from the army lost their lives. I could talk shit about my shitty army days, but I left it all behind for a sanity reasons.
I was actually a very good "soldier" until the last couple of months when I was caught running away from my military base every night. When officers are off the duty and at home, I would sneak out at night and dive one hour to get home. In the morning, I was always back for my regular duty like nothing happened... until they caught me... In normal country I wouldn't do this, but under Slobodan Milosevic's regime, this was just a revenge for me.
And then, I spent my last month in military prison with other crazy and misbehaving soldiers, they wanted me to pay for my "shenanigans". But, that's all past for me and I left it all behind when I left the gates of my army base. I have to mention that before I was caught, I used few of my free days to visit my friend Vlada in Novi Sad. That's when I decided to move to Novi Sad, here's the story.