Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Balkan Diary, Part 4: Sarajevo

Heading to Sarajevo was a little difficult, as the Serbs and Bosnians still have a little bit of bad blood between one another. The most frustrating aspect of this is that no one has seen fit to erect road signs or any sort of aides to direct you around Bosnia since the war ended, so we drove fairly blindly around mountains and rubbish dumps until we eventually got near Sarajevo where a few signs started popping up.

After just 10 minutes of driving through the city centre and seeing that every building was either a Mosque or a Church we knew we weren’t in for a storming night. Everyone seemed quite serious and we didn’t garner any smiles as we sat and drank in the park.

Anyone we’d spoken to recommended we go to ‘Cheers’, a theme bar based on the TV series. It was awful so decided to disregard the advice of anyone who could speak English from here on in. Thinking that students knew how to party we went to the student club, Sloga. It was literally heaving, with what looked like every young person in Sarajevo there. But I don’t think people in Sarajevo are very used to having fun so understandably had a pretty low threshold of what was enjoyable. They’d all turned out to see what must be one of the worst bands in the whole Balkan region.
They had 3 guitarists and played bangers like ‘Always look on the Brightside of Life,’ and ‘Sweet Child of Mine’. People were losing their shit to these awful renditions of what are rubbish songs to begin with. The people were quite friendly, but were also trying to sell us crack cocaine, which I think even if I had have taken, I would still not have enjoyed myself.

The next day we went for a walk about. It seems JME has set up a travel agents over there.

People will worship anything in Sarajevo. This was the Holy Temple of the Regular Bloke (thanks Gabe).

We realized that we were getting some disagreeable looks from people in Serbia and Bosnia because our car had Croatian plates, so we drew a smiley face on the bonnet to let them know we were friendly guys.

There was nothing to buy in the whole city – all the clothes and DVDs were bad fakes and the selection of food was dire, we had a donner kebab for breakfast (which was actually gorgeous) or this dish
of bread, raw onions, and little dog poo shaped pieces of meat that tasted like Birds Eye frozen beefburgers and looked so much like dog poo we took them out in the street to put them back in their natural environment.

They might all be devoutly religious here, but at least they still enjoy a bit of bawdy humour.

Waiting in an airport for 5 hours is never easy, and after 14 whole days in the company of just one other person, we’d exhausted most traditional avenues of conversation. We decided to spice things up by having a drawing competition. Things started off tame with simple drawings of pandas but soon escalated into drawings of each other raping dogs.
I'd like to think I won.

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