(disclaimer, this was written two weeks ago)
This weekend was Sarajevo squeezed into 36 hours. I hope the New York Times reads this blog and asks me to create an article for their 36 hour city series. Esmir, the driver, was meant to pick me up at Hotel Europe at 12:45pm. Emily and Karey described him to me as a young man driving a vw wagon. As I approached the hotel, a few minutes late of course, a young taxi driver nodded at me from across the street as he offered me a ride. I declined. I searched everywhere for Esmir and his car, nothing. Finally, I remembered that Emily had given me Esmir’s number. As I call, the man across the street picks up his phone…yep, that is right. Esmir was on time and had tried to get my attention. This is the moment that happens at least once a day in my life where I swallow my pride. I walked across the street and apoligized to Esmir, who doesn’t speak English, for being dismissive. By the time I arrived, Zach was waiting outside. We expected to wait about an hour or so for our sister, Kelsey, who was to arrive shortly after him. Her flight was delayed, but this being Sarajevo Jadranka was there. She gracefully shared her waiting space and conversation with us. Finallllllly Kelsey arrived and our adventure could begin! Once checked into Hotel Kovači our first stop was Houssen’s for tea. We sipped on salep, a beautiful gift from the Ottoman’s as we planned their time in the city. First on the list was copper alley. I may or may not have demanded this be the way it all began. We admired the sebji, pigeons and tourists, as we walked in the hot sun. We mayed through the alley as I described the skill of the hand carvings to my jetlaged siblings who politely nodded. I was obviously thrilled to have vistors, whether they were mentally present or not! Rescidence Rooms was our next stop, and luckily for us a few volunteers showed us the best pita shop in town! We sat down to enjoy three large servings of burek, zeljanica, and krompiruša each with two LARGE scoops of cream. It’s not a true city tour without a stop at the chess park. There we were finding ourselves choosing sides and discussing the dialogue of the two divided teams. The night then naturally brought us to the Goldfish, an establishment we all love. Yet, it just so happens the atracttion of the Goldfish that we all have does not soely exists within our group. My brother quickly confessed his pleasure and sense of intrigue with the place. On the way back to Hotel Kavaci we climbed the hill and spent time observing the many graves around us. But we could not end the night on such a somber note so we made our way to the sebji where we watched tourists and locals alike beginning or ending their Sarajevo stroll. After a few loops of the same wanderers, we ended our night with a short stroll to hotel kavaci. When I wrote the 36 hours it became evident that I will never be a novelist, I could not write to completion of 36 hours in the city and will never have a contract with NYTs. However, It was truly incredible to share the city with two of my siblings and be able to create lasting memories with them in a city that quickly became near to my heart. I will carry those with me always.