When I travel, I always meet locals. I usually try to spot where they go and what they do, for I’d like to fully understand how they live. That’s the point in traveling, I think.
How would you imagine people who went through one of the most horrible massacres of all times while you were probably watching some tv series on your couch? How would you think they would look at you, foreigner, who didn’t move one finger to make it stop?
I would imagine them as reluctant, angry, introverse, slightly rude, maybe. And I wouldn’t even blame them for being so.
Surprise, surprise, here in Saraj, they’re everything but what I just described. They laugh, they smile, they enjoy life and they never loose time to do so. Never. They take profit from what they have. And trust me when I say that here, they really do have a lot to profit from.
Bosnians are warm and passionate people, charming, kind and generous. They talk a lot, even if they don’t know you at all. For exemple, I love talking to taxi drivers. They tell you their life, what they’ve been doing and why they love it here. And if you ask me, yes, all taxi drivers love their city.
What is enchanting here, it’s that people love smiling. They do it for no reason, to anyone. It really reminds me of home. Now, you might complain about me using these kinds of clichés. Well, they’re not clichés, or at least I don’t take them too much into consideration. I have been traveling around since I was a kid, and I just statistically impressed in my mind the customs of the people I met. And I statistically analysed the results. Here people smile more often. In the southern part of Europe, people tend to be louder, to laugh more, to be more extrovert, more passionate, more impulsive. No offense to anyone. These characteristics can be positive or negative, that’s up to you to decide. I just describe things as I observe them through my eyes, you have the right not to agree with me.
In any case, back to the topic.
To be completely honest with you, some of the poeple here don’t smile in the first place. You can see them in the road staring at you, they’re usually old and tired. The moment they see you in the street, they immediately know you’re not a sarajevan. You don’t need to fear them, though. Instead, you have to try approching them. You can start by a “Dobar dan, kako ste?”.. you’ll see one of the most beautiful smiles you have ever seen. Their eyes sparkle as they hear that you are really trying to talk in their own language, and the message arrives straight to their heart.
“Dobro, hvala. Kako si ti?”