The VICE Guide to Travel

The VICE Guide to the Balkans - Part 3

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As documented in numerous morning-radio parodies of the Beach Boys' "Kokomo," the 1999 War in Kosovo was a grisly, nebulous affair in which the disputed region's Serbian and Albanian populations accused one another of rape, ethnic cleansing, and other sordid atrocities. Thanks to a blow job, the United States decided to get involved, and following an intensive bombing campaign by NATO fighter jets, the situation in Kosovo is now... still fucked. Both the Serbs and the Albanians claim the region belongs to them, neither side is budging, and people still regularly get their ass kicked for being from the wrong group in the wrong part of town. The most Seussian example of this protracted butter battle is a 20-yard bridge in the city of Mitrovica that links the Serbian and Albanian quarters and is guarded every night by a group of roughnecks on both sides to make sure no one crosses--despite the fact that there are no less than four other bridges  across the same stretch of river that nobody gives a shit about.