We had some fun sightseeing activities today with Jadranka, who was a great tour guide. She knew a lot about the early history and architecture of the city as well as the recent war years since she grew up in Bosnia and experienced the siege in Sarajevo first-hand. At the tunnel museum, it was interesting that Jadranka was explaining the tools she had used to improvise without electricity and running water. The fact that she was familiar with the techniques that were on display in the museum made it all the more real for me to understand that these were not just props on a shelf but absolute necessities during that time.
Even though it was relatively short, the video at the tunnel museum held my attention because the places that were shown- the Parliament building, the Holiday Inn, the library, Marshall Tito street- were becoming recognizable since we either drove by or walked along these locations earlier in the day. The familiarity with various places in the city transformed the footage from random clips of bombings into a more personal attack on Sarajevo landmarks. In this sense, I feel like I had an infinitesimal glimpse into the heartache of seeing one’s hometown destroyed.
Along the same lines, I also found myself thinking about the daily life threatening conditions that Bosnians had to face by merely crossing a street, or worse, running across a bridge over the wide-open river. Though today the city is peaceful and everyone is casually walking, talking, and laughing, the Sarajevo roses in the streets along with the bullet holes in sides of buildings serve as constant reminders of what had once been and I feel grateful for the ability to leisurely stroll along in the market.