Second Impressions

Graves everywhere. All over the hillside I can see from our living room. In the park at the end of the block. In the the “proper” graveyards, the headstones are one on top of another.

Bullet holes everywhere. Buildings either have them or had them (i.e. they either have new facades or you can see the patchwork). It seems that no square meter was untouched–I can see some on a building across the courtyard from our porch and think, Where is the line of sight? Crazy. One place I didn’t expect: on the sidewalk. But it makes sense…but when we think too long about the fact that all those bullets were meant for someone, we get sick and outraged all at once and quite suddenly.

Above: Building next to ours.

Burned out buildings…are still seemingly everywhere. Where we live, downtown, not so much, but you do not have to go far…on the sides of some are huge holes from tank or artillery shells…again, sickening…where the shells hit the sidewalk or street they have filled the holes with red; they are called Sarajevo Roses. Today we shopped at the fruit and vegetable market that was shelled early in the war…many were killed and it was the worst massacre of the siege.

People definitely have the Eastern European thing–they look mean when they walk down the street. But based on our experience meeting Bosnians, and in Slovakia (where it is the same), I know they are quite warm in person…wish they could be happier in public, but I’ll take it over the US–where it is the opposite, warm in public and cold in private…

Just walked around downtown/old town for the second night in a row. It is very cool, the streets filled with young people, meeting up in the street, chatting, sitting in packed coffee bars sipping espresso and smoking. The streets are narrow, the building old, the alleyways interesting, the architecture amazing and the people beautiful.

Above: Earlier today, chessplayers around the corner from our place.