A visit to the House of Spite
Trip Start Apr 16, 2012
34Trip End May 18, 2012
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At breakfast a British couple at a nearby table asks the waiter how it is possible to be served a fruit salad today that is in no way fresh when the one served yesterday had been entirely different and much better; that it simply defies explanation, as NOTHING really could be as simple as a FRESH FRUIT SALAD!
Such are the exotic wonders of travel.
Out on the streets again by nine, without really having any plan, I head past the Markale and continue west toward the center
At last I come to what seems to be some sort of technical school housed in a dirty, white, early 20th-century building. At least the sign says 'Teknika' and I am only guessing. A crowd of what appear to be high school kids is pouring from the door and down the steps into its courtyard. Midday break? On Saturday? You have to either make up answers to the simplest questions or learn Serbo-Croatian. But, how hard could THAT be? Even small children speak it fluently here.
Crossing the main boulevard and dodging construction, I reach the Malijacka again and return toward the Stari Grad through a tree-lined park on the south bank where shade and a cool breeze off the river offers a sweeter alternative to the traffic on the north side
I take a seat on the terrace bar at the Hotel Europe, beside the ruined medieval walls of Sarajevo's very first inn with room for 80 people and stables below for their animals. In accordance with my mission to bring the martini to the world, I explain the intricacies to the waiter, who then asks a colleague for help decoding the formula and I am served something passably close to sip in the shade. In fact, it's good enough to have another. Mission accomplished.
I have a veal soup, salad and fries at The Spite House (Inat Kuka.http://www.inatkuca.ba/en/page.php?id=2 ) an old Turkish-style house beside the river. As the story goes, the Austro-Hungarian authorities decide to build a town hall and library on the site of this house, but its Bosniak owner refuses to sell. Finally he is ordered to vacate the premises and, depending on which version of the story you choose, he either convinces the authorities to move his home brick by brick across the river to where it stands now and throw in a bag of gold coins for good measure, or he moves it himself to its current spot directly across from the new town hall so that he can glower at all the official comings and goings. Spite House would be a good name for a fast food franchise, I think.