Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Saying Goodbye. Part 1.

I suck at goodbye's...

Yet, here I am. 1 a.m., Wednesday morning. Behind on sleep. Behind on packing. Three days to go and no more Sarajevo. It's hard to believe. Yet, here I am.

I'm feeling a little sad and fairly nostalgic. One of these days, someone will remind me that Sarajevo wasn't all lightness and brightness and cheer, but, for now, even the toxic smog has its charms.

(I will miss the way you can smell Bosnia before you even hit the runway. I will miss the way the burning leaves and foggy pollutants stick to my hair.)

I know I'll come back. But visiting a place is different from living in a place. We all know that. So.


As a final homage to the city that has become my home, I give you Sarajevo in pictures. Part 1.

1. Sarajevo from Alifakovac Cemetery
2. Muslim grave/Alifakovac
3. Alifakovac Cemetery
4. Goat's Bridge/Bentbasa
5. Bentbasa
6. Sarajevo Mountains and Holiday Inn (yellow, right)
7. Bascarsija
8. Gazi Husrev Bey's Mosque/Old Town
9. Cafe Elvis
10. Downtown building

Monday, December 11, 2006

How to impress me...


Every cotton-picking time I try to work the ol' needles and thread, it's an utter disaster. A total shamble. So I admire those who make it look so easy.

Once again, may I introduce Amela?

I gamely tried to have the huz take a picture of me in the full blue-green outfit she just finished knitting (at the rock-bottom price of 50 marks, about 30 bucks) but he was unequal to the job. I can't say I proved very worthy either, but, hey...Although the lighting is poor, I think you can see why I'm such an admirer of hers. She uses nice wool and produces a nice product. (The little pink set is for sale, fyi, for $17. And she knits the most adorable baby clothes.)

Now, that I'm leaving Bosnia (less than two weeks!) I want to make sure I give a shout out to all those folks who have made my life bright. Amela has certainly been one of those people. She's the sweetest, most ultimate of hostesses; her kitchen is always open, and she makes a fantabulously rich cappuccino and deliciously debilitating homemade cakes. I'm always welcome in her home, and I'm treated like family. Leaving people like this truly hurts because there's always the fear you may not meet someone this true, this nice, again.

(Sniffle.) Pass the tissues, please...That's better.

Anyway. Should you have a desire for homemade Bosnian knitwear, I know someone with skills. And she's cute too.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Went to London, got me some culture, brought me back some deep thoughts...

1. Where's the surly?

Could just be first time visitor syndrome, but what's up with all the nice?

I mean service people were all, like, smiling at us and such. Whoa, man. What's up with that?

I think I may have imbibed too much Sarajevo. I was immediately suspicious. Why are you smiling at me, perfect stranger? No way you like me this much. (What do you want from me? Money? What?) Oh and I just bumped into you, and you apologize? Really. Are the British this polite? My genetically refined pushy American instincts combined with my recently honed Bosnian surliness will make me a positive force on the London streets. If we move to London, though it looks like we will because we just liked it so darned much, which brings me to...

2. Sticker shock.

Fuck us all, it's expensive in London. The pound is double the dollar. Wah, wah, wah and woe is me. Woe is us. However. With a robust economy comes an abundance of jobs. Or so I hope. It is my finest desire to get a nice, juicy job on the British economy and suck the marrow out of London's cultural offerings. Oh, who am I kidding? I want to shop! I want to buy pretty coats and pretty boots and pretty rings! That's what I want. I'm shallow, and I like sparkly things.

3. So hire me.

Yes, I'm not too proud to beg. Give me employment. I'm a social worker with a focus in international dogoodyism. Yes, that it is one word, and that is exactly how it appears on my diploma.

4. And now for something completely different...Harrods

Can I just say that I totally understand the fuss over this department store. It's cool. It's huge. It's ridiculously overpriced, but who cares?! It's fab.

Then again...

5. The crowds and the dreaded Tube.

If we do move to London (and we're thinking of the Angel neighborhood, love it!), I believe the Tube will be the absolute bane of my existence. I have never, never seen a subway so crowded. Not in all the years I lived in DC or the times I semi-lived with Stu in New York. (Fourth of July, New Year's, and holidays in general being the exceptions...) There was actually someone's elbow in MY NECK. The huz informs me that it's actually worse in Tokyo, where they use something akin to a t-shaped cattleprod to squeeze people in. Not cool, dude. I think I shall fully embrace the bus service...or my xanax, should the bus service fail to meet my needs.

And, oh my God, once, just at its most crowded, it actually stopped, halted, for what felt like hours. And there we were, squashed like sardines...This is one of my biggest fears on any subway system, due to my claustrophobia. I hate to ask because I fear the answer may not be to my liking...Does this happen often?

5. It's late...

And, Jesus, Stu shaved his facial hair!

(Aside to huz: I thought you were just getting a shower! What possessed you? You have no upper lip! You look 10!)

Sorry. The plane ride, the late hour, and now my husband's naked face has left me speechless. I clearly need sleep.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


A couple of hair-raising drives later, and we've yet to learn roundabout etiquette.

And have I mentioned the drive into Cambridge on the A14 where we actually drove on the right side of the road until oncoming traffic alerted us to the fact that, duh, we were still in England?

That was fun. And tingly. I think my heart stopped.

The house hunting goes and goes and goes...I think we may have settled on St. Neotts, very centrally located between London (40 minutes by fast train) and Cambridge (20 minutes by car or bus). Of course, we would prefer to live in London, but....the astronomical cost of everything does make one weak in the knees. The dreaded pound just gets stronger and the dollar gets weaker and weaker. I may have to learn to prostitute. Any pimp daddy's out there?

But, joy...I think the British may be even more mad for Christmas than Americans. We flew right into holiday fever. Actually heard a radio announcer say that he needed to do some "last minute Christmas shopping." Mwah? I thought "last minute" was strictly reserved for Christmas Eve lollygaggers. Apparently not.


If you don't hear from me until Monday, never fear! I'll be taking notes...