“Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.”
Sarajevo: Part 2
What has surprised me the most? As I have been exploring Sarajevo, I find myself perplexed every time I stare upward at the massive, contemporary, apartment complexes, shopping malls, and business centers. Going into this trip I had this idea in my mind that I would be living in a city that was still visibly damaged by war, and while some buildings still have very noticeable reminders of the damage and violence that took place here, there are quite a few that depict the opposite. So far I have heard of three malls (one of which I have been to) in the city which are all in relatively the same area, and when first visiting one of the malls, the BBI, center, I was SHOCKED when strolling through the mall. There is a nice and rather large indoor/outdoor café, there are water fountains on the ground level, and glass elevators that quickly ascend/descend to the desired floor, causing their occupants to become slightly motion sick. There are shops such as Swarovski, Mac, and Lush (an all natural body care shop). When inside this mall I felt as if I was in a nice mall in California or Florida somewhere. It was a very surreal experience.
Along with the amount of development I have seen, the amount that people are out, whether they are spending money at the mall, taking a walk down the main street through the city center, or going out to party, constantly amazes me. As I touched upon in my first blog, this city truly never sleeps. Most bars are open 24 hours a day, some cafes follow suit, and people stroll down the streets ALL the time. Now, you may be thinking I am exaggerating because the noise may be keeping me up at night, but you would be wrong. Bass of a new hot song spilling out of clubs, chatting, and laughing can be heard 24 hours a day. And to think, it is still Ramadan! Most of the city is staying indoors and fasting during the day. It will be interesting to see what the city is like when this holiday comes to an end.
Even with the noise, which is most likely a tenth of the level it will be in 2 weeks, Sarajevo and its shocking qualities still amaze me, and in the best way possible. There is something so beautiful and intriguing about living and experiencing another culture, the good, the bad, and the shocking. These elements have provided me with a new perspective. A different way of living. There is something so beautiful of getting lost and being shocked in another culture, and Sarajevo and all of its elements are doing just that for me.