May 15, 2007
Mundo de Fieras in Belgrade
I'm in Belgrade since yesterday. A city that only a decade ago was bombarded by NATO to pressure dictator Milosevic into leaving its stronghold over this area.
I don't know Belgrade well yet. However, I can already say that it has the European cities' brand of beauty and the scars of its pecular history of transitions: From Yugoslavia to Serbia and Montenegro...to Serbia.
It's a different world from the one I know. However, there's something here that reminds me of my Caracas. I don't know if it's that there's a certain amount of chaos in its traffic, a bit of improvisation in our University hosts, that the coffee is delicious, or simply that it's hot right now. The fact is I don't feel this place is completely strange or new to me.
Least of all when I turned on the TV in my room. I have cable and, therefore, CNN and BBC the perennial and desirable companions of those who travel and need news in English. But, there are also two stations that broadcast Mexican telenovelas almost 24 hours. Yesterday I watched a bit of Mundo de Fieras, and I felt, once again, what most Latin Americans who live abroad feel when we watch a telenovela away from home: a familiarity and an understanding. We "know" our telenovelas uniquely well. And when we're far away we don't mind watching a telenovela, even if we don't really like it (I don't particularly like this new version of Mundo de Fieras). What is important to us is what we feel when we watch these melodramas in a faraway TV screen, like mine here in Belgrade.
In addition, it's always great to see people from our country on television. And there she was: Gaby Espino showing that she's able to work in any country, even in difficult and ultranationalist Mexico. She was also a reminder of the many incidents and happenings that occur in the production of telenovela, how distorted their press accounts can be, and how mistaken the public's perception can also be.