Football, Fun, and Rowdy Boys from Slovakia

Sarajevo Travel Blog

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'Yes, internet,' the lady I had stayed with for the past two nights in Dubrovnik had promised me. Nope, no internet. Which meant that after waiting at the top of the hill for nearly an hour for the bus station, I realized when I got there that the next bus to Sarajevo wasn't until 3:10, about 5 hours from when I got there. After paying for my bus ticket, I only had enough money for some bread and chocolate, which has been a large part of my diet lately (yeah healthy, I know). So I nibbled on that, sat, and waited. And waited. And waited. I did get much of my postcard journaling and picture-fixing caught up on, as well as a bit of cringing at the ladies talking to each other. Most of them sound like men, and often yell what they're saying, which is putting me off to the language a bit, but whatever, that's what a good 'ol ipod is for I guess.

I finally got to Sarajevo about 9 PM, dropped off in a dark area which my directions told me was 1/2 hour away by tram from the Old Town. Dark, late at night, not sure where to get off. Not fun. On the bus I had made friends with a guy originally from Sarajevo but living in London for the past 19 years as a sound producer, and I was terribly relieved when he offered to call his cousin and see if they could drop me off near my hostel. Sweet! I've always been told not to get in cars with strangers, so I was somewhat nervous, but not half as nervous as I was to try to find my way in the dark. I somehow knew that they were cool, and they both ended up being super sweet and giving me little bits of history about different parts of the town we passed.

Super tired when I had written down directions to my hostel this morning, my handwriting was terrible and I thought I had written down 'Sam's Hostel,' which wasn't the name at all and had me scrambling for an internet cafe to get the real name and finally get a taxi up a huge hill, which the directions on made seem like it was fairly a short walk. Nope. About two seconds after I'd walked in, I was greeted by about 9 Slovenian guys. 'You like football? Barcelona? Madrid? Yeeaahhhh football!' Their excitement was contagious and soon I was swept away from the hostel and off back down the hill to watch the big match and eat some capcici, or something like that, which is basically little juicy meat fingers wrapped in pita bread, onions, and cheese sort of stuff. It was ridiculously amazing!

The way down the hill the guys were really friendly, but I had a foot in the mouth sort of moment. One of the guys asked me what I thought of the Croatians, and I said that they were alright, but I wasn't a big fan of the language. 'We speak the same language,' he says as he looks straight at me. Whoops. 'You know, I think I just didn't like it so much because they all seemed to be yelling it at each other, I try to dig myself out of the grave I'd just dug. Worked like a charm and soon he was back to telling me history of the recent war; about the assasination in Mostar by a Serbian radical that started WWI, how football fields, parks, and backyards had become graveyards as cemetaries filled up with dead bodies, how this overwhelmingly Oriental city is the one city you can walk through and in three minutes here an Islam call to prayer while passing a Jewish Synagogue then a Catholic Church. I begin at this point to really appreciate this city in all it's history.

After lots of waiting and an interesting time finding the hostel, just the few hours I spent with these friendly Slovenians just made my day!

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photo by: herman_munster