A Stroll in Sarajevo
Around five years ago I decided to change my life in quite a drastic way. Found a job, packed my stuff, and a month later I was in my new city: Sarajevo.
Did I really think much before taking the decision to move there? No.
Did I know what I was going to find? No.
Did I care? No.
For me it was the first time living in a country outside Western Europe, and I was 50% surprised in a good way, 50% surprised in a bad way to what I found there.
Living in a certain place is not the same as going on a quick holiday. When you live there you face reality, and for me reality in Sarajevo was not finding Danone yogurts, sliced bread, bacon and even certain medicines. You may think this is stupid, but when you try to go shopping and can´t recognise any of the products you buy, go back home and the next morning try to drink what you thought was liquid yogurt and head to work without any food in your stomach and with an awful taste in your mouth, in that precise moment is when you realise how much you are going to miss certain things.
I was shocked by the little amount of things supermarkets had, plus quite a few things out of date as well.
That and going to the balcony on the first day of my new life and seeing the building on the right full of bullet holes. I mean, I knew there had been a war and that it was really bad, but I can say now, without a doubt, I wasn´t expecting it to be THAT bad.
I can talk for hours about my experience in Bosnia, the things I learnt from it, the things I rather forget but I can´t, the good, the bad, the really good, the really bad… I stopped counting the number of times that I asked myself if it was a good decision, and don´t take me wrong, everything that opens minds, teaches things and broadens horizons is great. But, and this is a big but, with the information I have now, I wouldn´t have gone on the first place.
To me, the number of bad experiences was bigger than the number of good ones, even nowadays when I try to recall only the good ones. By saying this I am not trying to convince you not to go. If you are looking for a weekend away I will totally recommend Sarajevo. If you are planning to live there… I wouldn´t.
Sarajevo has plenty of things to see, it is the city where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed, and his dead led to WWI. It is the city of the three religions, muslim, catholic and orthodox. It is surrounded by mountains, from where you can get great views of the city. It is the city where West meets East.
And it is also the city of war. The war in Bosnia was one of the first to be on TV all the time, and the images we could see, and the information provided where so awful, Sarajevo will always be linked to it.
But it is a pretty city. When you learn to forget about its scars, you can see its traditions and modern ways mixing throughout the city. I loved having traditional Turkish coffees in some places, and cappuccinos in others. When I was there, MacDonald´s and Burger King where not there yet (I think there is a MacDonald´s there now), which made the city even more appealing.
Ok, I stop now. I just wanted to show you guys some photos of Sarajevo before I write more in depth posts about it. I hope you enjoy the images!
The men in the last photo were always there, under the rain, the snow, the sun… always playing a never ending game of chest. Even today, this photo is one that warms my heart. I will never forget their eyes, their faces, their expressions…
Thank you for reading!