Saturday, October 13, 2007
We struck out this cold October morning after having tackled 1) our landlord to replace a part in our toilet so we don't have to keep shutting the water off after using it (Monday, he promised) and 2) T-Mobile, who has an idiotic customer service rep who doesn't know how to read a document that is in Bosnian with the English translation right underneath it, thereby causing four extra days of headaches and two long-distance calls to the US to sort everything out. Just before noon, we set out along the promenade to walk into town to get our bus tickets and eat at Metropolis, the premier restaurant in Sarajevo to get cakes. It has rained in Sarajevo since Tuesday. Leaves are down and different shades of yellow, brown and green are pasted to the sidewalks, making it a bit slippery to walk. As we walked into town, we could see the hills in the distance; with them so tall and the clouds so low, it looked like the hills were on fire. Of the ones that could be seen completely, the sun and clouds danced on the hillside, illuminating one and darkening its neighbor. After getting our bus tickets, we walked down the main street and Wiley showed me some hiking boots he'd shown me earlier. We went into the store and came out with these darling little light-blue hiking boots for moi. The saleswomen were very helpful and after I tried on about four pairs of shoes and decided on just the boots, I placed one hand on the shoes and said, "Ne," which is "No," and then placed my hand on my boots and said, "Da," which is "Yes." Wiley laughed and the saleslady, after realizing I didn't speak hardly any Bosnian, said it was a good way to start. We then decided to grab a little lunch at this place called To Be (the rest of it is or Not to Be, crossed out). The small restaurant in the bascarsija is two levels. This time, we decided to sit downstairs, as we heard people upstairs, and we were rewarded with watching the cook make meals in a kitchen smaller than ours. I had grilled chicken and Wiley had veal kabobs. They were both served with a generous portion of vegetables - fried zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and red pepper. After that little treat, we headed back to Metropolis to see if the place was a little less busy for dessert and a little warm nip of coffee (cocoa for me). We settled upstairs in a corner where Wiley's head touched the ceiling, ordered our drinks, waited 10 minutes, ordered a crepe with forest berries in it, waited about a half-hour for that, and then waited another 20 minutes for our waiter to come back so we could pay the bill. Wiley left the last of his change as a tip at To Be, so when the waiter asked if he had any coins, Wiley said no, but the waiter persisted: "Not even a Mark? Half a Mark?" he asked in Bosnian. Wiley answered in Bosnian and waved his hands. It was a less than pleasant experience, and I hope the next time we go back, we have a waiter that doesn't have the entire upstairs to cover and that the food is a bit better. I know the pasta is great (but I wasn't interested since we'll be having that tonight), and we also noticed they have sandwiches, so the next time I have a craving for a burger and we're in that part of town, that's where we're going. Since we walked into town earlier, we decided to catch a bus to take us part of the way home. I hate the buses, though not quite as much as the trams. They're still crowded, and I realized that people probably don't like me very much because I stand near the front, where the hand-rails are lower. I try to move as people get on, but I'm too short to stand in the middle of the bus/tram, as in the lane where people walk. I can't reach the rail because it's way over my head. So Wiley devised a plan: get on in front, stamp my damn ticket, then walk to the middle where the other door is because the rails there are lower, and to hell with those people getting on and off...at least I'm not completely in the way there because I can squeeze to a side, whereas in the front, I'm screwed, and I just hate waving my ass in front of some stranger who's sitting down. If I'm giving a show, then I want compensation, and the bus riders just won't stand for that.