9.8.10

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 :)

2 comments:

  1. You forgot to post the pics sis... :-(
    I'm already looking forward to part 2,3&4...
    Keep up the good work.

    Love, Soor

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi sister,

    No i didn't forget, the batteries ran out :( just when I was done, but they are here now!

    Love back at ya

    ReplyDelete