I have lived in Montenegro now for just over two years and there have been discrepancies between the findings from the reconnaissance and my actual experiences as an expat retiree, as follows:
It is extremely difficult to obtain the status of a temporary Montenegrin resident and we expats drive across the Croatian border every three months for lunch and a new border entry stamp. With this method (which is encouraged by the immigration authorities) we remain permanent tourists. This suits me fine, because it enables me to maintain my Austrian residence and the Austrian health insurance that goes with it.
My investigation of 2004 did not go deep enough for a judgment on the Montenegrin people. Even now I have only met a tiny fraction of the 650,000 inhabitants. The following account is, therefore, not suitable for generalisation. Anyway, as an expat of the British community in Kotor put it: “Montenegrin schools have three Rs: reading, writing and ripping off foreigners.” Although violent crime is rare (I have not come across one instance during the whole of my stay), there are lots of Fagins and Jack Dawkinses about. On the other hand, there are also extremely honest people, such as one market trader who chased after me across the whole car park to return a 10-cent coin which had dropped out of my pocket in front of his stall.
I started my life in Montenegro in rented accommodation. The choice was limited because I required access for two large furniture vans and a trailer containing 120 cubic metres of personal belongings and I arrived with two dogs and three cats, which are not every landlord’s favourite tenants. Anyway, I moved into the best accommodation the agency could muster, and it was atrocious. Feedback on this and a number of other transactions can be found on:
http://place-in-the-sun.info (click “feedback – read”).
I visited my landlord some three weeks before my actual arrival for occupation of his premises and I had a small cat basket in the boot of my car. He suggested that I might as well leave it with him and he would store it somewhere in his garage rather than for me to carry it around on my journeys. When it came to settlement of the final bill, he charged me one month’s rent for storing an item worth €3 for a period of 23 days, and I had to pay it, because he exercised a lien on my furniture. The rent was supposed to be €400 per month, but it was nearer the €800 mark after we had to buy a new kitchen (his looked like instant food poisoning) and pay storage rental for the already mentioned basket, and he tried to extract another €600 for having the house disinfected because of our pets, which, as a matter of fact, are cleaner than many Montenegrin children.
My interface with Montenegrin people came under strain again when we employed a young local woman as a housekeeper. She stole, embezzled and cheated and when we decided to dispense with her services, she even tried some extortion. Further information can again be obtained from the ‘feedback – read’ section of my website. My attorney submitted six writs against her, but nearly a year later the court has not even issued the summonses as yet.