Chatterbox visited his local chain bookstore this morning at the request of a Slate reader who wanted to know whether the Pentagon brass could have located the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade by thumbing through Fodor’s. Reader, they couldn’t. Although some of the other travel guides purported to list the foreign embassies in Belgrade, none of these lists included the Chinese Embassy. (Surprisingly few European travel guides–even those for Central or Eastern Europe, or “the Mediterranean”–include any information these days on Yugoslavia, which apparently isn’t the tourist destination it used to be.)
Chatterbox next decided to follow up on Maureen Dowd’s speculation today in her New York Times column that “you can probably get that information on the Web.” You can, but it isn’t easy. Embassy Web, a private site containing information about embassies around the world, seemed highly promising, but if you click on “Europe” and then “W-Z” (for Yugoslavia), all you get is the disappointing message “under construction.” Yahoo! does have a list of foreign embassies in Yugoslavia, but it includes only those of Spain and the United States. Embassy World, another private site, has the same truncated list.
After fiddling with various search engines for an hour, Chatterbox eventually hit pay dirt with the official Web site for the city of Belgrade. If you click on a link titled “Useful information (Specially adapted for foreigners)” and scroll down a little, you will find, among other things, a (seemingly complete) list of addresses and phone numbers for foreign embassies in Belgrade, including the Chinese Embassy at 3 Tresnjin cvet Street (which Chatterbox assumes is the same as “Tresnja Tveta” Street, the location cited in accounts from the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times). It’s conceivable, of course, that the Milosevic government arranged to post this address after the Chinese Embassy was bombed in order to score a propaganda victory; but considering some of the other propaganda on this and other sites maintained by the Yugoslav government (sample: “What Is Happening Billy, Have No Viagra?), that would be uncharacteristically subtle.
As a public service, Chatterbox is going to repeat that link for the official Web site of Belgrade. Memo to the Pentagon: You will find here addresses for 34 embassies in Belgrade. Please bookmark this information, and take special care to avoid bombing the embassies for Russia (32 Deligradska St.), Albania (56 Kneza Milosa St.), France (11 Pariska St.), and, of course, the United States (50 Kneza Milosa St.).