Hello. Ive been asked if I want to go to work in Serbia for 12 months. Aside from a few odd short trips to Denmark & Norway the most exotic place I've worked long term is Cardiff.

It's a programme management job, EU funded work, working for a global company

Has anyone been there to work under similar conditions? Is it ok?

Flights look a pain as you have to go through one of Lufthansa's hubs in Munich, Frankfurt or Zurich.

Is it do-able as a weekly commute for a sustained period?

Check your tax exposure so you don't get a nasty surprise: either from the Serbs or from the UK taxman when you return. IIRC tax rates are 12% income tax and social security - 17.9% (pension disability insurance -11%, health insurance 6.15% and unemployment contributions - 0.75%). Ensure the project pays for your accommodation: local rents for anything decent are astronomical.

Belgrade itself is a nice town in which to live: plenty of great bars and restaurants, though night life does end surprisingly early. Avoid the casinos as they tend to be inhabited by gorillas playing with their mafia boss or desperate people betting their children’s food money that the next card will be a 7. The few whorehouses are not worth bothering with: either very expensive or full of nasty people. I have to confess that it isn’t the prettiest of towns and traffic in the ‘old town’ can be horrific as Serbs hate public transport (they are tremendous snobs).

There is very little street crime unless you are openly gay: then expect every man and his dog, ably assisted by the police, to kick **** out of you at every step. They really don’t like homosexuals. There are a couple of areas you are best avoiding: poorer areas as well as the area north of Novi Beograd on the river (Zemun): typical strongholds for hardline Serb nationals and mafia.

Once you get to know them the Serbs can be great people, if they are a little hung-up about maintaining a façade about how successful they are. The girls are seriously cute, but rarely put out on first date… but when they do shag they have fun.

A weekly commute back to the UK? A pain in the arrse and the journey can take about 8 hours. If you book long enough in advance and don’t mind using shite airlines then it can be cheap. Once a month is more doable. There is plenty to see and do in Belgrade and the surrounding countries: grab a car and drive. Zagreb and Budapest are about 3 – 3.5 hours driving time away with good motorways.
Thank you Dread

Very informative answer. My large intestine is clearly signposted "No Entry" so no worries there. I had not considered the tax side, I'd expect to remain UK resident, but I need to clarify that with work. It probably depends on how many days I actually need to be there rather than in the UK.

You have given me something to think about. Much appreciated, thanks

Got to broach it with my wife tonight. I have money on it with mate that her answer will be a very female and very ambiguous, "it's up to you", which will help me not one bit :)
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