Balkan food [part four]

The final taste of the Balkan in Bosnia. I'm not happy with that. Maybe that's why I procrastinated this part (okay, that is not the reason)...

I promised you to post a new article around this weekend, unfortunately I was too busy and too tired to post one. Sorry for that, but here I go now.

The first night I ate soup for dinner. This soup has some kind of pasta in it filled with minced meat. This can't be called soup in Bosnia without the creme fraiche in it. This gives the soup - like the word already says - a fresh twist and makes it oh so creamy. I love it!

Now I'm thinking about it, most dishes in restaurants are served in/on bowls and plates like this iron plate. I must say that it is efficient - they don't break!

Then a few days later I was invited to the house of Lana's uncle to have a real Bosnian dinner. It is custom that the male family member who has invited the guest, remains seated and eating with the guest until s/he is finished, so that is what Lana's uncle did. I think that shows manners! Well, for anybody who knows me, you can guess I was the last person to finish (together with her uncle). Her aunt made lovely soup with creme fraiche in it - oh my I don't know the name - egg-plant au gratin was also not to be missed, we also took pleasure in eating potatoes and chicken from the oven. Side dishes were beans and some kind of tzatziki made of cucumber, creme fraice and garlic.
The Bosnian dinner, the white substance is the kind of tzatziki, then the soup, the potatoes and chicken in the big oven plate and the beans in the smaller plate. Tasty!

I love the way Bosnians eat. Breakfast can be anything, but not just a sandwich and that's it. It may be a piece of bread with some kajmak (a kind of spreadable cheese) and another piece of bread with a bit of ajvar. Ajvar! That is SOO good. It's a red/orange spread of vegetables. Nice with anything really...

You know, I actually ate a lot of things that I can't remember, because they were so nice. If something had not been nice, I would've remembered it. Like sometime ago when I ate oysters. Ugh.. It smells like sea and sand and it tastes like that too!

I do remember this lunchroom called Vikler. They prepared the nicest sandwiches of your choice along with a sauce of your choice. They toasted it so that it was warm and even tastier..

A few days ago I was at my best friend Lana's house again - how I missed some Bosnian vibe here in Holland! - and it was Lana's mom who actually made me think about how you have to walk for five freaking minutes in town to find a nice restaurant to eat at, while in Sarajevo you can't avoid those restaurants. Sucks if you're trying to loose wait or are bulimic then. Not joking.

I know I didn't keep my promise about the full recipes and I pity that (I know Lana's mom will pity that too), but hey, sometimes mysteries are nice :) No I'm joking, I will no doubt eat it one day again and then I will immediately ask Lana's mom to tell me about the dish. For now, I hope the pictures are satisfactory (& more than that) !

Nighty night people.



Budva pebbles [part three]

I remember how those Budva pebbles hurt my feet everytime I got out of the sea, though I miss them.

It was about an 8-hour ride to Montenegro and I took loads of pictures, but these are the highlights!

Should have put some water in a jar.. Just for the sake of it

Breath-taking mountains

Helloooo Montenegro :)

On our way to Montenegro - passing Hercegovina and Croatia - we made a stop at a lovely restaurant where we got to eat lamb right from the grill. This is a tradition for Lana's family. Nice! The lamb was delicious and had a significant taste I can't explain. The combination with coleslaw and tomatoes gave it a fresh twist. The picture I took is a bit dark, but the other one I took was too blurry, so that was not an option. A little teaser of the Balkan food below..

From here..

...to your plate!

After crossing the sea - oh, so beautiful blue sea! - with a ferry, we made our way to Tivat. After a while we finally arrived at the floral summer house. I call it floral, because at day I saw how many flowers and fruit trees there were. Even turtles were in the garden! Loved it!

The first day we went to the beach in Budva, and basically we spent every day there. Budva is the ideal beach to chill and relax. The beach is lined with bars, nightclubs and shops with souvenirs, clothes, shoes and all necessary stuff for fun in the sea. I vaguely remember that day, because it was the only day at another beach. Another beach? Not like thaaat. The whole beach is divided into parts.. Owned by somebody different. All the other days we spend our time at a better beach, with a better atmosphere and nice staff! Everyday we were in the front line and ordered mini-doughnuts with chocolate sauce. Sweet! Staff also sold nuts and maize for anyone's interest. Gypsies who make up quite a big part of the Balkan population, made their money by selling olive oil (you get tanned so fast!), sunglasses, books etc on the beach.

Our pineapple cocktail decorated with slices of kiwi and pineapple

Wow, just now I realize I kind of forgot what I did in Budva, because it was just relaxing on the beach all day, maybe a little nap with some sea breeze. Taking a swim in the sea or just strolling past the little restaurants to get something nice to eat. There were so many ways to have fun there. You could go parasailing, jetskiing, or make a trip to the island Hawai! Yes, Hawai (same name, different spelling - if I'm right)! We planned on parasailing, but after a good talk with someone we decided not to as one of is afraid of height.. Oh! The quotes!

Every morning when Lana, her parents and I made our way to the beach, Lana's parents were always a few steps behind and they caught all the funny lines people said about me!
There were two elderly women and the one said to the other woman: "Is she a Negro? Or did she just get really tanned?" Hilarious! Or this one, but I have to tell this first. I have a hearing aid ever since I was three years old because I'm bad hearing. Luckily, I have never really experienced serious problems with my hearing loss, because my mother (THANK YOU MOM!!) always sent me to a regular school so that I grew up in a normal environment. Now, read this quote. One guy to the other guy: "What does she have in her ear?" "I don't know, I think it's a translator!" Yeah sure! I really do have the money to buy a translator. Hahah. Some.. people.. even thought I was Japanese or something? They greeted me with Konnichiwa! Seriously, do I look like one? Tell me if I do, okay. Hahah.

Anyway, I also spend a night out in Kotor, though, I didn't see the Walls of Kotor! The inner city brings about this nice vibe of Montenegro. Build out of huge stones, as if it used be like that centuries ago. I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

What I liked about Montenegro, was the sea breeze, the way I always had this salty coating on my body, the way it was all about relaxing at the beach and going out with people you just met on the beach that day.

Why can't life always be this amazing? Okay, life isn't about roses. I know.

For about 7 days I stayed in Montenegro and I didn't want to leave, though, I can tell you I missed Sarajevo as well! We closed off our stay with a lovely swim at the rocks - also one of the traditions - and how refreshing it was. It was like paradise. I captured it on camera, but as I want to capture the moment like it was, I have set myself a new goal. Save up for a Canon or Nikon camera, because I didn't even capture half of what I saw on camera and I want to capture the moment, no matter if I'm in a driving car or far away from the object in question!

Just now I notice the spots on my pictures.. Well, it's about the image right. Someone parasailing and I was just relaxing at the front row. Ah! The Budva pebbles :D

Clothing in Montenegro had a more airy touch to it as the majority of the people just spend their holiday in Montenegro on the beach. Shorts, tunics, flip-flops, bandanas, big sunglasses.. All the beach trends were there and you could wear those trends in no time, as shops were nearby. At the end of the boulevard, you found yourself an "indoor" city with many boutiques in it. Ofcourse I got myself a nice dress too :)

The inner city of Budva - or maybe it's just a place for shopping, I'm not sure..

So.. basically, it was just a beach holiday and I loved it!

By the way, I saw three other black people there! I was happy to see them, even though they didn't see me!

Well, that was it folks, part three. Part four will be about the Balkan food, but I have to delay that one, as I want full descriptions of the dishes from Lana's mom, so expect that one around this weekend!

Good night!


Sarajevo Soul [part two]

Gosh, I'm so tired from work! But I can't dissapoint you guys. So let's get a move on with part two.

During my stay in Sarajevo, the Sarajevo Film Festival was taking place. The city had billboards everywhere to be seen and the Bosnians unrolled the red carpet for the actors and actresses to come and shine on it. One of the present actors, who is globally famous, was Morgan Freeman!
It was a big event, with facilities for people visiting from all over the world to watch movies in the open air!
Advertisement promoting the Sarajevo Film Festival 2010

The heart with white lining symbolized the Sarajevo Film Festival 2010

Then, another thing about the people from Sarajevo! They experienced so much during the war and yet, they are so strong and loving. Mira Furlan, an popular actress from Croatia who you might recognize as Danielle Rousseau in Lost, said, while I was at Lana's niece's home (a real Bosnian home, like she told me) one thing I remembered well: "There are so many souls, yet, there is no hate." And you know what? That is a great accomplishment after a horrendous war. I have seen the scars on somebody's back and it told me the truth. Yet, that person is lively as any other person in Sarajevo. They are so social, what makes it so easy to make new friends! Isn't that a beautiful thing? To be able to move on so well after the war, even if you had to leave your country temporarily or if bombings left permanent marks on your body?

The war also left marks in the stairs. I told Lana's niece, who was wearing those beautiful blue killer heels to watch out because of the gaps in the stairs. Ofcourse she already knew them, but I was just being a carer. Then she told me that this was caused during the war when people carried down large chunks of wood for heating.

You can't miss out on them, right? Quite a few damaged tiles were also the result of the war

Unconsciously, I realize now, I learned a lot from the people in Sarajevo and I thank them for that.

What I also learned is that things are relatively cheap in the Balkan. In Holland you can't have dinner AND a fun night out with only twenty euros. Twenty euros in the Sarajevo however, is enough for four days and one night out. After a night out I lost my mind when I got to eat such a big hamburger that even I could not finish for the same price as a pathetic hamburger at McDonalds with a few drops of sauce and thin meat. Grrr, greedy people. I literally told people: "Okay, I'm seriously gonna boycott McDonalds." Are you in?

In Sarajevo (as well as in Montenegro), I had the time of my life and gosh, I didn't know that sometimes I could sound so stupid hahah. Funny quotes in Sarajevo I forgot, but expect loads of quotes for the coming parts. My comments are retarded sometimes, but hey, other people really knew how to outclass me sometimes(yes, you Lana)!

So far, so good. My time in Sarajevo :)

Sweet dreams,


Wait up, wait up! I SERIOUSLY didn't tell you about the fashion in Sarajevo? I should be ashamed of myself. People in Sarajevo have style! Women in Holland should steal a glance at the Bosnian women, who, no matter if they are not THAT pretty, know how to make themselves appear as attractive women with just a little bit of lipstick, styled hair and polished nails. I don't know what is wrong with the Dutch (native) women, but they sure do spend to few time on themselves. I loved to see the women sporting the maxi-dress and jumpsuit trend in nice prints and rocking the killer heels - of which the prettiest are to be found on the market (often from Italy)!

Now I'm really done!

Nighty night!


Sarajevo Soul [part one]

It was love at first sight, I swear.

The feel, the smell, the look, oh, how I love the Balkan countries. July 21 I left my house at 6.30 with a fully stuffed suitcase and hand luggage to go to Cologne in Germany where I would take off to Sarajevo, Bosnia's capital. My best friend Lana already prepared me for some unexpected reactions in Sarajevo, as, in fact, I am black. Or brown. Or yellow (in wintertime). Whatever. Anyway, she told me that people like me are not common in Sarajevo, but they would sure like it. And how!

Things started off a bit awkward when I had to get in line to check in. As the only black/brown/yellow girl, I got in line with mainly Bosnian people. A little girl was so curious what I was doing there, that she actually put a step forward and checked me out from top to bottom - sure, I didn't notice haha. Then, I nearly couldn't help myself when I got through the customs and passport controls and arrived in the gate area, again, being the only black girl. Sitting down silently, I nearly burst out laughing. I mean, it has something funny about it right?

Well, that was that. Once I arrived in Sarajevo and got my luggage I was so happy I was finally there and got to meet up with Lana! Lana, her father and I drove homeward with the "Sarajevo, Sa-ra-jevoooo" -song in the background (I sang it all day long when I got back home to my family's chagrin). The city itself threw some tranquility over me that I can't describe. My response to my new environment was not comparable to "OH MY GOSH, LOOK AT THAT!" and I'm sure Lana and her dad thought I was kind of... weird haha, but I felt some peacefulness. You could say, I was starstruck by Sarajevo's soul.

Along the way, Lana's father told me about the Olympic Games in Sarajevo in 1984 in which he was the referee for the hockey matches! Then this impressing building along the Miljacka river. You are fooled to believe it is a mosque with green minarets, but a local will tell you it is the University of Arts. Really, it was WOW. I failed to make pictures of it, because everytime I passed it, I was in the car, so you can guess what happened to the photos taken. Blurry.. The rest of the buildings in Austrian style have very high walls, which makes the spaces extremely attractive to live in. The centre of Sarajevo comprises an older part as well, still in the style of the Ottoman Era.

That first day, I remember, I ate the local food in the old part of Sarajevo, which is a must-eat. Not a must-have. A must-eat. At the second floor of a restaurant I ate cevapcici (can't use all the accents, but one pronounces it as chèvapchichi - something like that) which is a dish with pita-like bread, roasted small sausages of minced meat. This is served with chopped onions and kajmak. Kajmak is a kind of sour cream that just HAS to be included. The other days I also ate delicious pitas which are meat-filled pastry dishes. Yum! I'm a meat monster, just for the record.
I just have to tell you about the Bosnian cuisine in another article, really, SO much to tell!

Anyway, that night I experiences night life in Sarajevo city. Which is, chilling at some lounge, smoking waterpipe, nibbling some cashew nuts till your table is a mess and then head to a bar or club. I can guarantee you that if you love any music with nice rhythm, you sure will love Bosnian music! Even though I didn't understand a word of it, I just decided to dance along and the result? What a night! Bosnian people.. Take this from a black girl! Bosnian people have soul and rhythm! It is not that I thought they did not have it, I was just unaware of it! So that was my day and night in Sarajevo! (See the messy table below)

I have to wrap this part up, but don't worry, I'll come back to the hilarious stuff!

My day in Sarajevo included "drinking coffee" (which is equal to drinking anything). Let me tell you about one night when I was drinking tea in Vatra - a nice restaurant with a beautiful interior. Lana and I were awaiting a friend, so meanwhile we drank tea with apple and berries. This wasn't just tea. It was bright red tea extracted from the fruit in it which was edible. No question of a tea bag. When I, contented, finished the fruit, something happened that is SO Cheyenne. Ofcourse the friend had already arrived to witness all this happening. I made a stupid move and in a second, I spilled the bright red tea all over my light ragged jeans. In the middle of Vatra. Awkward.. Luckily, I stayed in the centre, so home was less than 5 minutes away and while I made my way home, I desperately tried not to meet eyes with anyone haha. It happened for a good reason, because my second outfit turned out way better :) The devilish tea is pictured below.

Tea at Vatra (Bosnian for "fire") served with honey and a cookie

Talking and shopping Italian clothing perhaps and - how can I forget? - eating is also part of the daily life. A day in Sarajevo is living life to the fullest, just with friends and/or family. Okay, I'm not going to continue this part, I'm getting a bit sentimental here, because Holland is nothing like this. Though, this article is not about Holland. So. Let's skip that. The people in Sarajevo city are such heartfelt people with an incredible level of intelligence. It is unusual for a young person not to have finished university at the age of 21. This makes them fun people to talk with. You can't go wrong in this city. You can't.

And about me being black. It was funny. I heard people whispering chocolata walking past me or just staring at me in awe. Though, all the people I got to know welcomed me, again, with so much warmth. They are amazing.

Is that all I have to say? They are amazing? No of course not. There are more parts to come. I think I will stick with four parts. It is simply impossible to write this unforgettable experience in one night.

So, keep an eye on my blog.

Sweet dreams :)