I mentioned this before, but I have been surprised about the level of recovery from the war. I expected to see far more ruins and shelled buildings. I don’t know if this was reasonable on my part, but it is definitely the picture I had in my head. I know many of the effects are still lingering, but I expected to have visceral experiences reminding me of the siege on a much more frequent basis. I think that in my head, it was hard to conceive of the level of recovery due to the dysfunctional governmental system and struggling economy.
The new buildings and other developments around the city have struck me as well. I expected to see many more communist-era buildings. I think this is probably reflective of ideas in my head of communist countries from that era. I looked back at some pictures and I don’t think this was ever the overwhelmingly dominant style of architecture, etc. I think I was underestimating the diversity of influences on this city, partly because I assumed that those influences would have been actively discouraged under Tito.