Saturday, 25 July 2009

Mother said...

Actually my mother never said what I’m about to say. We never had a computer at home when I was growing up. Even if we had it wouldn’t have been online as that didn’t exist (at least not in the lives of normal people) back then. The maternal advice in question is, of course, don’t meet up with people you’ve meet online. It’s not bad advice. As a youth worker I’ve given it , in all seriousness, to several young people who were about to do the sort of stupid things lead to teenage girls making headlines for all the wrong reasons. However, as an online video maker I’ve broken it on several occasions. (Although the first time my parents were loitering nearby; could have been caution or curiosity!)

Today, on a brief visit to Sarajevo, Rowan and I met with someone who, until now, has only been an online contact - ‘the other British blogger in Bosnia’. (In truth, I’m probably ‘the other’ as they were here first!) At four o’clock Rowan and I were sitting on a park bench across the river from where Franz Ferdinand’s assassination triggered the First World War waiting for a call from a voice we’d not heard before, all amusingly John le Carré, or perhaps that’s just my overactive imagination! From blog comments to text messages to a phone call – and from other ends of the country - we had made it to Sarajevo’s Old Town for some real Bosnian coffee.

I’ve mentioned it before but together we may be the only people talking about life in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the perspective of the English ex-pat. To that end it’s perhaps a little sad that one of our shared experiences is, diplomatically put, disappointment in our dealings with the British Embassy in Sarajevo. Still, it was not all grumbles and it’s was great to compare notes on our experiences so far in what one of our recent visitors described as ‘a truly spectacular country’. It is spectacular, and fascinating, and all of us today would agree we’re glad for the chance to be here enjoying it.

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