Thursday, 5 April 2012

Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dear all!!

Welcome to my home country, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

I have lived in London for almost 21 years now and it is my home. I love it, I miss it when I am away for too long.
However, I am lucky to have two homes and every time I come back to Bosnia, my childhood comes flooding back. The smells, the sounds, the people, my mum's cooking; all very familiar and all very much a part of me.

Here are a few details of my latest visit:

My aunt's cakes. Easy to make, not too sweet or fatty and probably the best thing since slice bread. In translation, they would be called Princess' Doughnuts (if you'd make doughnuts for royalty, this would be it).

You would make a very good choice if you had them with traditional Bosnian coffee. Very strong, but delicious. Coffee is very important in our country. Most people drink it and friends meet for coffee and a chat very, very often. It is actually one of the defining features of our cultural/ social life. When spring comes, people are out, drinking coffee in cafe's gardens. And more likely than not, when you go to someone's house, they will make you coffee without even asking if you want any. It is a given thing that you will have at least one cup. I love it and I miss that from London life. I have a few friends I meet for coffees on a regular basis, but even that takes so much arranging and is not always as spontaneous as it is here.

While I am here, there is a 10 year anniversary of a Festival of Cabaret Theatre. I didn't get the chance to see anything, but I rather love the poster for it:

Now, this next bit is very dear to my heart. This is my dad's boat and is probably 35 years old. I was with my dad when he bought it (I was about 5 years old), and at that time if you were buying something as big as a boat, you needed a guarantor to vouch for you and to say that they will pay if the buyer doesn't. Well, apparently I was so chatty (nothing new there) that the seller told my dad; "I don't need a better guarantor for your boat, she is quiet perfect!" I was just reminded of that story by my parents, and although I don't remember it, I definitely recognise my little self in it. 

And, we have had many, many happy memories on this boat. We have a cottage nearby the biggest artificial lake in Europe, called Modrac, and I have spent many happy summers in there. Although this boat hasn't been on water for the last at least 7-8 years, my dad promised he'll take it out for a ride this summer. For now, here it is, waiting to sail:

How about you? What do you call home? 
There will be more Bosnian treats in the next few days. In the mean time, enjoy!!

Red xx


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Red:
It is the café culture which you describe so well here which has become for us one of the most endearing factors about living in Eastern Europe. It is so very different from anything to be found in London and, indeed, the rest of the United Kingdom and we love it for what it is - excellent coffee [always] and lively, intelligent conversation.

Whilst we have yet to visit Bosnia - a near neighbour - we are certain that we shall find it hugely interesting when we do go.

The boat story is wonderful.

We wish you much joy and happiness this Eastertide wherever you may be.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

I think Jane and Lance have said it all.
I call home, a country that does not exist sadly any more. My home was, in the good old days, Rhodesia. Diane

Big Tavel Adventure said...

Dzevreci, coffee and a boat. Perfect post!