I was born in Bosnia (it was known as Yugoslavia back then) and though I only lived there for 7 years, the little hill where half of my family lives will always be my home home. Most of the time the hill is deserted as a lot of its inhabitants are scattered over Europe and America, but in the summer holidays everyone returns and we all have the best six weeks ever. It’s strange to explain to people about the sometimes surreal life on the hill and how you miss the weird things that always bring a smile to your face:
the times you want to learn some of your aunts recipes but she doesn’t do measurements ‘ah! az much az ju veal, Tea!’
Grandma’s latest gossip that makes Hello/National Enquirer look polite
telling the neighbour you really aren’t hungry but having to eat since they already slaughted a chicken for you
A place where the people haven’t and will never learn the difference between yelling and using your inside voice
you might have fed a neighbour’s cat once in a while, but the equivalent here is watching and milking the neighbours cow.
not being the only one who has 15 consonants and 3 vowels in your last name for a change
having the village women talk about you because you are in your early 20s and not married
your cousins who try to seduce every Western guy that passes through the area
actually getting yourself ready and wearing matching and shoes to go to the big city
waiting for the bus but having no idea what time it arrived since there is not such thing as timetable
missing the bus but thank God there’s always a relative nearby with a car to take you instead
your address is: just a two minute walk after the third house on the right
finding a copy of Frozen next to a copy of the Porn Identity on a black market stall – we’re not in Netflix country anymore…
”I’ll be there in five minutes” is more like an hour or so, if you’re lucky. Essentially throw away that watch or turn off the clock function on your phone.
trying to get past the fiercely excited Miki the watch dog when you get back home in the middle of the night
walking up/down/left/right and twisting arms at all angles on the hill to find reception to upload that one amazing shot
sleeping in a house without water and electricity
everyone comes over every day uninvited for coffee – put down that book – it isn’t getting read!
seeing the sun set and realising that life takes a different pace here.
Now I’m curious, what do you know about Bosnia or the Balkan?