Blog 1 – Initial Impression

Ok, so my initial-initial impression about Sarajevo is that it is a lot like Prague.  It’s the same style of architecture, billboards, graffiti, etc.  Same style of driving, too.  Oh, but minus the hockey rinks.  (Although I checked with IIHF and Bosnia has four female hockey players registered for competition.  Who knew?)

The hostel is much nicer than I had imagined.  The first couple of nights of Cheers music also wasn’t bad…I had no problem sleeping.  Although I still don’t understand why the bottle truck comes through at 2:00 am, but oh well.  By the way, the ear plugs seem to do nothing for me, so hopefully the fabulous fans in our rooms now help to drown out the noise.

After our walking tour, I think what struck me was the amount of war damage.  The mortar roses just blew my mind, especially when I saw two on the side of a building where people were clearly (or at least are clearly now) living… flowers hanging from their windowsills and all.  It’s just crazy to me.  But it’s also good to know that people can use the empty mortar shells as flower vases.  Way to re-use, Bosnians!

So I really like the city so far.  Unfortunately, the internship was less impressive, but we’ll see how the first week goes.  The people there were really nice, and I’m supposed to meet the other two American interns tomorrow.  I think it will be helpful to know what they are up to.  We all just sit at a giant conference table and do research.  I just wish I knew which research.  The organization seems less about Euro-Atlantic integration than the website suggested.  My supervisor is really pushing the gender and security angle.  That seems to be the hot topic at the moment.  It’ll be interesting, I suppose, just further off my own interests.  We’ll see how week one goes.

My Kung Fu club may have fallen through.  Somebody seems to have forgotten to pay the website fees, so all of my emails are bouncing back right away.  Uh oh.  But Ann says that’s a pretty normal occurrence here, so we’ll see what happens with that.  Suddenly I’m free Tuesday and Thursday nights and needing to find exercise.  At least we have a line on a possible gym membership, and we have our little morning jogging club, and we have hiking up and down and up and down and up and down.

Sarajevo’s a pretty cool place, and the people are very…Bosnian.  They like hanging out and staying up reallllllly late. I’m personally getting a little bit antsy, and I’m gonna get forced to slow down.  That’s may be a good thing, though.

I suppose that’s it for my initial impressions.

Z

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