Thursday, March 6, 2008

200th Post

No, I really don't care that it's my 200th post, but here it is.

I'm finally catching up on my Google Reader. This time, only 80 posts to read, compared to the 170 the last time I looked at it. I have been reading about Jill's adventure biking the Iditarod trail. If you've not gone to her blog, go do it. It's a bit of an eye-opener. Here I am, nervous about a job interview, and she's out on the Alaska range, trying to keep sane in -20 degrees with her bike and a bivy. When you put things in perspective like that, worrying over a job interview doesn't seem so important. But it reminded me that one of her readers, Dave, asked me once what I was going to miss about Sarajevo. I was in transit at the time, so I never fully answered, but am doing so now.

I only got to experience a small part of Sarajevo's spring last May when I visited for a weekend. I will certainly miss seeing the city bloom. The roses are everywhere, and I can only imagine that the city gets prettier and prettier when all of those roses bloom fully...there will be patches of red, pink, and yellow along the sidewalks, along businesses, along apartment buildings.

I will miss living with Wiley. I had an amazing experience, and I got to do it with someone I love dearly. We figured out we could live together, and we got to do a lot of things together. I mean, how cool is it that we got to spend so much time together? It was like everyday was a weekend. Nothing will compare to that.

I will miss the cakes. Sarajevo can do cakes.

I miss waking up in the morning and giving Wiley the Morning Report, where I go to the kitchen to make his coffee and look out the window and tell him what's going on. "A full tram just went by" or "We have a family of ducks paddling in the river!" or "Passati is first in line at the taxi stand!" He was our favorite taxi driver - gruff voice, always looked like he just woke up, kinda reminded me of a bear, but really friendly.

I miss mountains. It was fun to look out the windows and be surrounded by hills that kissed the sky. Here, the sky touches the corn...pretty, but not quite the same effect.

I miss letting other people drive! As much as I hated the time it took to get anywhere in Europe from Sarajevo, it was really nice to just get in the bus and sit and not have to worry about driving myself.

I guess that also means I miss traveling to new places...I have traveled quite a bit since returning to the States, but it's just not the same. To have Europe at practically my fingertips was nice.

I miss not having commercials. We are INUNDATED with Big Business' marketing ploys. You need this haircut to be cool. You need this watch, to go to this restaurant, to drive this car, to feel complete. Bull honky. In Sarajevo, there was none of that - well, not that I noticed, anyway. They still had billboards, and there were a few commercials, but not like what we have here. Don't be fooled though - Sarajevans know their fashion. The young chicks always looked great (though I'd hate to see their feet as old ladies since they always walked around in heels), and the young men fashionable with their leather jackets and spiked hair. But this barrage of marketing is something I can definitely live without. A friend of mine doesn't have a TV. At first, I thought, How do you survive? And now, I understand - as long as I have my internet, I don't need that dang TV. This could prove difficult when living with Wiley again, since he loves his sports channels and I'd rather just not have cable....well, we'll cross that bridge later.

I miss the bread. US bread, frankly, stinks.

I miss knowing what's going on in the other countries that surrounded us. We kept abreast of what was going on in the US with CNN and online, but we had another channel, as well as Al Jazeera, that we could watch, that gave us more info on happenings in Europe.

So that, so far, is what I can think of that I miss about Sarajevo. Coming back, I've had quite a bit of culture shock. Some things have been really easy for me, such as getting back into the time zone, while others have eluded me. It took me 10 minutes to decide which toothpaste to buy when I got to Kansas City. I stood there for a full 10 minutes, trying to figure out the difference between this one and that one and what flavor should I Sarajevo, I went with Colgate simply because it was the only brand I knew. It seemed things were a bit simpler for me in Sarajevo because I didn't have lots of options to weigh before making a decision. I have to retrain myself to be decisive, or at least as decisive as I was before I left. That's a tall order.


dave in chicago said...

Hi Melinda! Tis I, mr dave, stopping in visit your blog after visiting Jill Homers blog. That girl is amazing ... wow ... I don't know how she made it to Mcgrath, but with brute force and sheer determination she willed herself down that frozen trail and across the finish line. Amazing, amazing, amazing... she is one TOUGH storyteller!

And speaking of story's, I was pleased to see that your 200th posting (!!!) dealt with your wonderful stay in Sarajevo. Thanks for sharing. Your memories were beautifully written and very insightful, especially about returning here to America.

If I had to paraphrase your stay in that enchanted city of Sarajevo, I'd say that you really took time to pay attention to the details of life. Simple details, but wonderful details. And sharing those with your Sweetheart made those details even better. Your heart will always be happier with those memories deep inside.

Life in America isn't very special, but you'll find ways to make it your own, much as you did in Sarajevo. Takes a little time to find your stride, but it'll all kick in, you'll see : )

In the meantime, perhaps it's time to learn how to bake your own bread hmmm? lol

Melinda said...

Already ahead of you - I know how to make bread! Wiley showed me how to do it a long time ago, and it was heavenly. Now, I just need the recipe again, and a place of my own, and I'll be all set!!!

Hope Chicago is treating you well. Iowa is COLD.