Sarajevo is special to me because it brought about multiple insights. It left me many things to contemplate about. Nationhood, war and genocides, repeated histories and international bodies…
The Latin bridge
Near my hostel in the old town bazaar
you can still see the scars along the streets
a Sarajevo rose (without the red resin)
What happened at this very spot? I couldn’t help but wonder
I spotted it from some distance away. I had read about it online, and I had to admit there was something intriguing about it, I wanted to see it for myself. Dark tourism – voyeuristic intentions to catch a glimpse of such a haunting past.
I felt sad, and then i felt hypocritical
Ah, from Dubrovnik I caught the evening bus to Mostar, and reached at about 9+pm. It was coooooold and foggy.
Mostar and Sarajevo are one of my favourite cities for sure. I learnt a lot from the days within the cities.
There, the bridge of Mostar
I met 2 Turkish guys on the bus and we went to look for a hostel together. They told me a little about the history of the place; on hindsight I knew so little then. Never heard of Bosnia y Herzegovina before 2014, didn’t know how they looked, what language they spoke, the streets, the history. Nothing, no geographical imagination of it, none. (mm, ignorance i admit ignorance)
Books to read:
(thinking back, this season is awesome. i had the serenity of the place to myself, i had the cool breeze)
why were there so many stray dogs in Tirana? 😦
I reached Tirana in the evening. They had a huge Christmas tree in its central square. I met Ela there.
So sunny and so warm, both the place and the people.
Things I learnt in the 4 days:
Daily meals yummy
Here, they’re religiously tolerant. The church and the mosque exists side by side and they’re very understanding as a community.
It was the simple things the mum did, like giving me oranges and bananas. Rubbing my shoulders.
The Pyramid, originally a museum to commemorate the dictator Enver Hoxha, then a conference center.
I think my stay here made me realise how privileged I was to carry a Singapore passport. The whole visa process poses as such a challenge for Ela here. For me, when I want to visit a country, most of the time obtaining a visa is not so much of a concern. I don’t think about visa issues (unless it’s some obscure place) because I almost assume I’d be able to get a visa for it anyway. But for Ela it seems like one of the key things to consider, not to mention the cost of it, and their already low wage. Such barriers.
Her parents were banana sellers. It reminded me that sometimes I walked past these fruit sellers in the markets and after work they could be going home, tending to their children by the table, showering strangers with such kindness. They were so sweet to me. I didn’t want to be any more of a burden; I know I’m far more privileged. I bought groceries, desserts and things I got from Italy during my stay.
300 euros a month? How difficult is it to save to visit someplace else