On Leaving

It seems that once I have finally figured out Sarajevo, as much as is possible in two months, it is time for the trip to end and for all of us to head home. It took two months but I figured out my favorite places in this city to eat, have coffee, drink a few beers with friends, and engage in conversation with locals. I think it is going to be the various places I have frequented that will truly allow me to remember my time in Sarajevo. It is going to be hard to forget the substantial amount of time I have spent at the Fildžan viška talking with the employees about everything from soccer to Bob Marley to the 1997 Chicago Bulls or laying under the misters at happy hour desperately trying to stop sweating when it is 100 degrees in the city. It is through my memories of my “hangouts” in this city that I will be able to remind myself of all of the other things that happened during my time here.

I will also remain forever amazed at how friendly almost every person in this city is, except you Mr. Bean, and how willing they are to engage in conversation for an extended period of time. It is a far cry from life in the states where the waiter gets upset because you have been sitting at the table for 45 minutes and are not showing any signs of leaving. Here the waiters are more than willing to not only let you sit at the table for 5 hours, but to also share a little about themselves. After two months in Sarajevo, it is going to be incredibly hard to return to the pace of life in the U.S. I think the first time a waiter brings the check with the food I will get this dumbfounded look on my face because I don’t understand what is happening. Why is this guy rushing me out, when I have only been here for two hours? I’m sure I’m entitled to spend another three hours here since I paid $3 for this coffee.

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