Thursday, March 16, 2006

Venting, with a capital V!

Okay, so I'm past the "I love Bosnia, and I see no wrong, blah, blah, blah." Actually, I'm trained in this kinda thing, so I know that adjusting to a new culture takes time, has its ups and downs. Well, two weeks ago was a definite "down." Everything pissed me off, including, I might add, Stuart and colleagues. About this, I say no more. No, I will say this. I know you people. I know where you live, and if an American tourist is thrown five feet into the air and crushed by a speeding Mercedes, I'm taking you all down.

Here's my vent. Forgive the grammar.

It’s funny, the longer I live, actually live, abroad the more American I become. I would hesitate in defining myself as a feminist in the U.S., but here…Suddenly, I have no problem saying, “I’m an American and a feminist! I won’t spend hours on my hair and make-up, and I walk my dog in my fluffy pajamas. Take that Sarajevo!” Actually, funny incident (or not so funny depending on how you see it). I suppose it would be no surprise if I told you that organized crime is huge here. And how does this effect me, you may be wondering? Fucking Mercedes and Audis (gangsta cars of choice) are always, always speeding through the old town. I have been nearly run over any number of times. No one speaks up because no one wants that particular gangs’ wrath to fall on his/her family. Well, thank God for my finely tuned sense of moral outrage. Actually, thank God that I’m American and can afford to have a set of brass balls. So, was walking Veli the other day when an Audi floors it past me (this is illegal, by the way, the old town is strictly pedestrian except for bakery delivery trucks). I barely manage to pull Vel out of the way, which makes me angry, but what really made me do my nut, was that fucking Audi actually hit an old man. This young shit gets out of his car, checks on the old man, and the old man actually pats this prat on the shoulder as if to say, “No worries.” Let me just preface the following by saying this: the fact that I’m an American has its advantages. Men will think twice before clubbing down and shooting an American. And, no, I would never be stupid enough to do this in America. Well, I see this and race up to the car yelling, “What the fuck were you thinking? There are mothers and children and old people walking here.” At this point, the shit (as he will forever remain) tries to make cutesy with Veli, “Oh, mali cuko, bla, bla,bla…” And I’m all like, “Do you hear me?” So, this other guy gets out of the car and says “Bitch.” Me: “Shut up. Get the fuck out of here. Yeah, you heard me.” They leave without further incident. After relaying this particular piece of news to the U.S. embassy security folks, I got a “Good for you, moron, but don’t do it again.” Apparently, another spirited American, a USAID employee, did something similar only to be chased down by the car owner with a lead pipe. Luckily, he got back to the USAID offices before the pipe did serious damage. But, my God. The organized crime people around here are something else. I sorely wish the Bosnian govt. (and the police force, the court system, etc…) got strong enough to diminish the importance these people have in this society.


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