Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Bosnia AND Herzegovina!

We live in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Too often I have been guilty of dropping the ‘and’, which I guess is the same grammatical error as saying ‘Bang Olufsen’ or ‘Proctor Gamble’. We live in Mostar, which is the capital of Herzegovina. Zoster, a local band, wrote a song whose chorus goes “Herz-e-gov-ina...Cali-forn-ia”, drawing the comparison between the mountains and the sea and the very agreeable climate common to both places. We went to California once. I have to confess a lot of LA reminded me of grubby bits of the south of Spain but I don’t want to take anything away from the sentiment of the song!

Last weekend we were in Jajce, which was once the capital of the kingdom of Bosnia. I don’t know if one of its local bands has written a song praising its beauty. If one has I would bet on it heavily featuring the word ‘green’, or an appropriate metaphor. I thought Mostar had been looking green this spring but Jajce was something else. Thick forested hills, or more probably mountains, ring the old town that is dominated by a six-hundred year-old hill fort. We once visited a very dramatic Swiss castle town set on a massive rocky outcrop on a flat plain. That was slightly more fairytale but Jajce has an authentic charm to it.

As for the missing ‘and’, I must not deny it its role of holding these two together. After all, this is a country in need of no more divisions.

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