The Tea Shop

My experience at the tea shop today was quite enjoyable, and really made me feel as if I were present here in Bosnia. I arrived at the tea shop and was welcomed by the owner in a traditional fashion, even though I have only spoken to him in passing once or twice. He greeted me as if I was an old friend and welcomed me into the shop. I was sat near a man and a woman who knew each other. All of the sudden, we were all talking and the woman was helping translate for the owner on what tea he recommended. She explained in detail what the traditional drinks were here in Bosnia and where the ingredients came from. I sat for a while looking over the menu and looking at all the loose tea leaves and ingredients in jars on the wall, wondering what each word on the jar probably meant. While doing this I noticed a cat and her kittens in the alley across from me. I figured they were strays, but then the man who owned a shop near them began watching over them, making sure they did not go far. More cats arrived, and one actually came into the shop and went to sit by the owner. I feel like there is so much caring and concern for other’s here in Bosnia, something not experienced much in the United States. People take care of one another and want everyone to feel welcome. I have noticed this with almost every person I have spent time with while here. This immense sense of caring and love. I enjoyed just sitting and observing the people in the street walking by, interacting with one another with such grace. Today at the tea shop was the first time I felt like I was truly engaging in Bosnian culture the way it had been described to me before I came. I plan to do it again tomorrow.

 

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