Sarajevo-still moments

♠I was walking through the market and admiring the metal objects made at local workshops. As I was considering a coffee grinder, the vendor came over and demonstrated how it worked. He told me that you can always tell the residents of Sarajevo at the beach. He explained this is because the residents of Sarajevo typically use this style of coffee grinder. Smiling, he demonstrated again how you put a serving of coffee beans in the grinder, hold it to your waist and turn the lever to grind. This leaves a red mark. Coffee grinder marks the spot!

♣I climbed to the top of the hillside near the city market area to obtain a long range view of the city. The sidewalks disappeared in spots, sometimes steps led me in and around doorways. Asking directions here and there, I managed to get to the top. But  getting down was a problem.  I kept encountering dead ends. I soldiered on, figuring it had to work itself out eventually. After another hour, it started raining hard. I was soaked. Given the weather, there wasn’t a soul outdoors. Then at the end of another dead end street, I saw a young boy outside and ran up to him to ask how to get down to the market area. He motioned for me to follow him up the many steps to the door of a house and then went inside. He returned with his just a bit older brother who spoke with me. I’m sure they understood I was lost, if nothing else. He asked me to wait. They explained they were calling someone who spoke English. A man drove up in a white pick up truck.  I got in the truck, out of the rain. The man was British; he told me that he was working on building homes with a British nonprofit group. When he asked where I was headed, I rattled off the name of a restaurant that I knew was at the bottom of the hillside. It was a long, winding drive. (I was impressed I had walked it. I was next to speechless in gratitude at being returned to the bottom of the hill.) I was the only one in the restaurant at that hour and had plenty of time to reflect on my unplanned adventure.

♥At the airport, you can see the historical tunnel site. During the bloody war, just in the 1990s, people would need to walk through this tunnel to get to the airport to get necessary supplies, including food. From what I could see, this narrow, underground tunnel had electrical wires hanging from the “ceiling” and the sign said that often it would be flooded to knee height. I tried to imagine carrying a toddler and groceries while wading through water with electrical wires overhead, and never knowing what havoc might be on the other side of the tunnel. The signs spoke of a Dutch battalion from the United Nations sent to protect civilians but then not mounting any defense of civilians when the airport was attacked. Which was worse, the attackers or the bystanders?

♦I was admiring jewelry at a market stall. The vendor told me he had made it all himself. These were twisted silver designs welded around colorful polished rock. He told me he was glad an American had come to his shop. He talked of the war and how he was ever grateful that President Clinton had intervened to stop the war in Sarajevo. (From my life’s experiences, I understood how having a real person to thank could spark a catharsis.) I agreed it was a laudable move on President Clinton’s part. I purchased a white, rectangular, flat stone caged inside a geometric design of silver. I get frequent compliments on that necklace. 

TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb is available at Amazon and BarnesandNoble and iBooks and Audible.

Buy it. Read it. Let me know what you think. –TMLL

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