Land of war
Trip Start Sep 16, 2007
35Trip End Sep 29, 2007
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She got off the train and I ordered a beer, sat alone for a while until a Serb called Ivan got on- he spoke good English and said he had taught himself, he also informed me that all Albanians were in the mafia, and lets face it, Serbs have no reason to hate Albanians..
Eventually got to Sarajevo, said goodbye to Ivan and started walking- saw the holiday inn journalists stayed in during the seige, there are also holes in the ground where ordinance fell, I wandered down to the river and took some pictures of the bridge where world war one began with the assassination of the Austrian Archduke. Wandered back to the train station for some Sarajevska beer, very nice people- even the thugs in the bar were smiling and helping explain Bosnian money to me. Met a girl called Iena on the way out of Bosnia- she was half Bosnian-Half Serb and had been sniped at during the war, the war had of cours effected her most because she was technically part of neither side and is now apparantly hated by both bosniaks and serbs.
The Bosnian countryside is beautiful, and Sarajevo has a lot of potential as a tourist destination if only for its historic value- in a way the shots that began communism (without world war 1 the russian revolution may never have happened- we'll never know) and the shots in the last battle in its collapse (the break up of yugoslavia) were fired in and around the city. I did notice only the big cities had railway stations- the train also just stopped in the iddle of nowhere to let school kids on and stuff. The people were exceptionally friendly (although they chain smoke like no one else on earth) and I was amazed how nice they were considering how much they suffered
The legacy of the war is still there, houses boarded up when their owners fled in terror, worse were the ones which had just been blown up- you can only hope the people got out of there in time. Some of the villages also have graveyards full of white gravestones...and you don't have to be a genius to know who lies there.
Most interesting was Ivan the Serb, such a nice bloke, from a race that committed massacres (well both sides did) across the former balkans, and yet smiles, and offers cigerettes e.t.c, how do people like that become genocidal maniacs-nationalism is strong amongst them, I suppose thats it.
The future of Bosnia, sadly,looks grim- it is currently two nations in one state and its just a matter of time before war begins again in my opinion. I suspect it will be big.
Ivan- We Serbs have Serbia on our side, the Croats have Croatia on their side, Muslims have no one, but Turkey..and where is turkey?
Apparantly they get on most of the time, as they have nothing to do with each other- excdept in Sarajevo where they get drubnk and fight
I also liked the mosques, although most Bosniaks are only nominally muslim- drinkinjg alcohol, eating pork e.tc, i did see some more conservative muslims though, which may be saudi influence.