As I sit with my peers, Bosnians my age, talking about beer, music, food, girls, guys, soccer and shoes it almost seems as though we’re talking about the same thing. It’s almost as though we’re coming from the same place, and understanding the world around us in similar ways. It’s so easy to forget what drastically different paths my Bosnian peers and I have taken to arrive sitting at the same bar, drinking the same beer and discussing things that are common to us both.
It’s only when my new friend off-handedly mentions his father’s death in the war, or when someone else slips in when and his family fled during the war, or that time they lived in a dirt basement to avoid being sniped, or even when another mentions his difficulty at doing exactly what I’m doing – getting a master’s degree – with no paper during the war, that I am jerked back to reality. I realize how incredibly differently my Bosnian friends and co-workers view the things we discuss, what a drastically different lens through which they must view life. I’m sure, not a day goes by that they are not reminded of the years they spent here, or elsewhere during the war, and what that meant for the rest of their lives. And here I am grinning thinking we’re just talking about beer.