-Where were you born?
I was born and raised in Texas, USA.
-In which country and city are you living now?
I have a house with my wife near Novi Sad, Serbia. Very near to the Fruska Gora National Forest. It's GREAT!
-Are you living alone or with your family?
I live with my wife, a Serbian national, 3 dogs, 2 cats and 6 Ninja Chickens!
-How long have you been living in Serbia?
I have lived in Serbia for 2,5 years now but started coming down here in 2004 when I was the Security Manager for a German Company.
-What is your age?
I will be 49 this year.
-When did you come up with the idea of living in Serbia?
I decided to move here after trying to start my own business in Germany where the taxes almost made me bankrupt before I got going. Now the business is starting well and in its 3rd year.
-Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit?
No, not at all. Even the Serbian Officals helped me fill out the paperwork for my first visa. Now my wife does it.
-Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
No, you can get private medical insurance at almost any insurance company here.
-How do you make your living in Serbia? Do you have any type of income generated?
I started my own Security Risk and Crisis Management Consulting company. I have not found it difficult at all in finding work. But it would help a lot if I could speak more Serbian. But every Serbian I meet wants to speak English to me.
-Do you speak the local language and do you think it's important to speak the local language? Please add your thoughts on local customs and whether it's important for expats to respect/observe local customs.
I am learning the language. It is not an easy language to learn. I know the common courtesies that go a long way, espeically when you say them with a smile. It is very important for every expat to at least be able to say "hello", "goodbye" and "thank you" in the country they are living in. I try to respect the local customs and do my best to understand them. It helps when they realize that I am Orthodox also. But I have never met with harsh words for any culture here. Most are very open and just want to get on with their lives.
-Do you miss home and family sometimes?
I do miss my family but I like to say "the only difference between Serbia and Texas is the language".
-Do you have other plans for the future?
I am currently looking at opening another office in Nis (southern Serbia).
-What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home? How much do you pay for it?
We bought a house with a loan as a couple. The house with about 80 sq. meters and ground about 1500 sq. meters cost 48,000 Euro and that right on the edge of a national forest. It doesn't get much better!!!
-What is the cost of living in Serbia?
Depends on how you look at it. When you look at it from the local view it is expensive. The average monthly pay here is about 400 Euro a month. So it is like any other place, to make ends meet both have to work.
-What do you think about the Serbs?
The Serbs are great. I have never had a problem. NOT a SINGLE one. Even after the incident when Kosovo declared Independence. Never once. I have always been treated with high regards and everyone has been very friendly. Even though I speak only SERBLISH.
-What are the positive and negative aspects of living in Serbia?
Life is a lot easier here than in Germany for example. Things are more relaxed. I can't really find anything negative other than the infrastructure is in need of a work over.
-Do you have any tips for our readers about living in Serbia?
Learn the language, at least the basics. Dont be afraid to go out and meet people. One very important tip for coffee drinkers: Don't tip the cup of domestic coffee all the way up - it's turkish coffee so there is about 1/4 inch of fine grounds in the bottom.
-Do you have any favorite Web sites or blogs about Serbia?
The B92 news site is pretty good.