It is late-late Tuesday night. Yeah.
It started with a quest. A quest to find a place to repair my beloved Camper shoes. Miriam saw a place on a street we frequently walk, so I first went there. Found the place. Hard to figure out exactly how you entered the establishment. Tried the, was it the door? Some guy behind me, shouting, “Blah blah blah! Blah blah!” Of course it’s in Bosnian and Ja ne govorim Bosanski. Not hard to figure out, though, the shopkeeper had just left for lunch. I had in fact just walked right by her. She returned to open up for me and I showed her my sole-coming-off shoe. “Blah blah blah, blah blah blah.” Smile. “Ne govorim Bosanski?” “Aha.” Hand signals. She can’t do it. Mentioning of different place. Bust out pen and paper. Writes down name of place. “Preko-puta velika Pošta.” Good. Dobro. Across from the big post office.
Have to swing by Embassy anyway. Protests outside of Bosnian government building next to Embassy. Interesting.
Ask the Embassy guard where the big post office is. Straight down to the river and just down to the left. cool.
Straight down to the river, I know where I am. I am right across from the Scandaria, a big underground mall of sorts, where a friend of ours owns a shoestore. In fact, almost all the stores in Scandaria are shoe stores. Maybe a good place to get my shoe fixed?
Plan is to just walk casually by friend’s shoe store, if friend is not there, to just leave and go preko puta pošta. Friend’s employee isn’t in the store, of course, no, she is sitting in the hallway outside the store. No more subtle. “Ciao Daniel!” Govorim…er…govoriš li Engleski? …Ne? Display shoe. She grabs english speaker nearby. No place in Scandaria for fixing shoes. Where is this place across from pošta? Don’t know, but that name is also the name of a bridge, three bridges down. Dobro. Hvala.
Walk down the river. Pass Academia Umjetnosti on this/it’s side of the river. Yeah.
Get to location of supposed shoe repair shop. Lots of shops. Been here before. No shoe repair shop. Walk around. Cross river. Walk around pošta a couple times. Ništa.
National Theatre is right next to the pošta. Took picture. Noted Italian SFOR guy smoking and looking apathetic, as all Italian SFOR guys do.
F it. Going to go buy groceries for planned tuna pasta tonight. Go to market, to my usual stand with the nice guy who speaks english and his very dear mother. Ask about tomato paste (does it exist?) and he takes me himself to a store next to the market where his friends who also speak english help me out with all my grocery needs. Also ask him about a shoe place. Down the street from the Swedish embassy. Ok. Head over there. Shoe shops. No shoe repair shop. Circle the block. Go into one shoe shop and display busted shoe. Ništa.
F IT F IT F IT! That was such bullshit what I said! This sucks! One last thing: looking for this book Sarajevo Marlboro my Bosnian teacher told me about. He said there was a bookshop down this alley next to Beneton that should have it in English. Try the bookstore before Beneton. Nema. Alley before Beneton. Ok. No bookstore…BUT…shoe freaking repair place! W…T…F?! Enter cautiously. Display shoe. No problem! Two days! Koliko kosta? 5 marks. 3 bucks! Awesome! Takes shoe. To je sve? That’s it? Isn’t he going to take my name? Guess not. Just going to remember me. Two days. My precious Campers shall be fixed.
Tonight was an equally unbelievable experience as well, one I will have to share at a later time. For now: I was invited to sit in with a band (on drums) tomorrow at 2. I decided just to go watch for now. Met some very cool cats. One in particular.