Friday, 21 August 2009

Dear So and So, Bosnian Version: Part II

Ever since I wrote Dear So and So, Bosnian Version Part I, I've been suffering from an unusual (and quite debilitating) affliction. Now, in my head, wherever I go, I find myself composing these postcards. In an effort to bring it all under control I started making a list of all the postcards I wished to write. It is completely out of control. It is also, therefore, time for another Dear So and So post. So here we go, a few things that I wish others to know:

Dear neighbours,

We don't have a plum tree in our garden. You do and it hangs over ours. We have a glut of plums from your tree that we don't know what to do with. As you have 4 trees, all about to fall over with the weight of the fruit you must have some good ideas about what we can do with all the plums currently halved and stoned and sitting in our fridge.

Yours, in appreciation of your fruit orchard which has served us well over the summer,
Fraught Mummy


Dear man in charge of the volume of the call to prayer of the mosque opposite,

Any chance you could turn it down? Just for the early one, the one as the sun comes up? Please? We'd really appreciate it.

Yours, in tiredness and slightly grumpy at just before 5am,


Dear Bosnian Drivers (and one on the Tuzla Sarajevo road the other weekend in particular),

Overtaking is a manoeuvre to be carried out when you are certain that you can complete the manoeuvre without causing an accident. In practice this means that you should only overtake when there is a stretch of road ahead of you that allows you to see what is coming for quite some distance. So, overtaking, going up a hill, heading towards a blind corner, in the dark with only one headlight working is not really best practice.

Yours, forever wondering how there are any Bosnian drivers left,


Dear Bosnian Pedestrians,

You are a nation of walkers. You put us British to shame. You walk everywhere and for long distances. This is wonderful. Can I make an observation however? If you walk along main roads in the pathway of the cars, in the dark, wearing black, it is very likely that the drivers won't be able to see you. Just saying.

Wishing you a long and healthy life,


Dear Boys,

Listen to your mother. Listen. It's not so hard. I only do it to stop you from hurting yourselves or other people. It would make everyone's lives a whole lot easier if you did what I ask within the first 5 times of asking, because if I have to ask any more than that I'm liable to turn bright red and blow a gasket.

Your loving but exasperated mother xx


Dear Butcher down the road,

You are my favourite butcher in the world. Not only do you sell the most amazing meat, but you didn't mind that I left my wallet behind in a blonde mad mummy moment, and you let me pay you the next time we were in the shop.

Deep thanks from the bottom of my heart,

Dear Bosnians looking for a parking space,

Space on the pavement is not the same thing as a parking space.

Yours, a bit fed up with weaving past your cars,

PS - drivers in Tuzla, every other city in the world requires you to pay for parking. You used to pay for parking in the centre of town before the war. Stop whinging about the new parking restrictions.


Dear Imam from the mosque over the road,

Thank you very much for the gift of some Bosnian delights and perfume that you handed over the gate the other day. I'm not quite sure why you are giving me presents and do find it a bit random. But thank you anyway.



Dear Bosnian Authorities,

Please, please can you get a programme in place to sort out the stray dog situation. The number of lost puppies on the streets at the moment is breaking my heart.

Yours, trying not to adopt another dog,


Dear Jessie,

You've seen the life other dogs have. Yours is not so tough. But if you try and get into one more picnic I might be tempted to let you live their life for a bit.

Yours, fed up with apologizing for our pizza eating dog,
FM xx


Dear neighbours, friends and pretty much anyone we have ever visited,

Thank you for all your amazingly yummy fruit, veg, homemade jams, juices and pies that you give us every time we have ever visited. At the moment I have to say that your grapes are the best thing I have ever tasted, but the peppers are pretty good too.

Yours, stuffing my face,


Dear International Community in Tuzla,

Thank you for always inviting us to your dinners on Thursday evenings. I'm sorry we have been so rubbish in actually attending. Every week we plan to and every week we sort of don't quite manage. We will keep trying, please don't stop inviting us.



Dear Bosnian Women,

You rock. You are feisty, scarily intelligent and can more than hold your ground. You are professional, well educated and sometimes a bit scary as you are not frightened of expressing your opinion with a level of passion that the British in me is just not used to. There's just one thing I really don't get. What is the obsession with cutsie cutsie little girl like cartoon characters?

Just wondering,


Dear Dave,

You're great. Hang on - that's not my handwriting. Have you been adding things to my list??

You are great though, but it is treason to mess with one of my lists. Treason! Do you hear me?

Lots of Love,
FM xx


Enough for today. There'll be more as this is such a fun post to write, try it yourself and see. You too will soon find yourself composing postcards in your head all day. If you write a post, then make sure to head over to Kat's at 3 Bedroom Bungalow and add your name to the list, so other fans of the genre can come and have a read.

Again, other Bosnians, anything you care to add to the list? I'm going to do these posts every other Friday, so let me know if there's anything that you'd like to add.


Anonymous said...

Great postcards - love the friendly Imam. What are you going to give him next time?

Mom in High Heels said...

Fantastic! I find myself composing in my head all the time too, but by the time Friday rolls around, I've forgotten most of what I composed. Maybe I'll have to start writing them down.

Half Mum Half Biscuit said...

I love your postcard posts - so succinct, so revealing and really funny. Stray puppies? That would do me in. x

Mamma Po said...

What a fantastic post, I love it! Such a great snapshot into both your family life (listen, you boys, will you?!) and the wonderful, colourful-sounding culture of Bosnia. More, soon please.

nappy valley girl said...

Love it. The random Imam made me laugh out loud.

Plum crumble time maybe?

gaelikaa said...

I'm doing overtime on the laundry right now as the monsoon here has (temporarily) abated and when I get a respite, I really must try to do one of these posts.....

Pollyanna (formerly the Laughing Idiot) said...

Great post! I'm not sure I've ever met a Bosnian, but I sure what to expect now.

I'd love to have you drop by my place: Life Makes Me Laugh

Mwa said...

Oh, that mosque must be tough to have close by. Sleep is too important. I used to get very annoyed by the bell ringers close to college. They used to practice early in the morning, but never at five!

Iota said...

Dear Brit in Bosnia

Please don't suggest that I try this format for myself. I can see exactly how it would lead to endless mental postcards being written throughout my day. I already suffer from writing mental blog posts, and I really don't need a shorter, snappier, more addictive version of that malady.

Yours ungratefully
Brit in the Midwest

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Mud - I have no idea. He is very friendly but also quite mad.

Mom - start writing them down. Hope to see you on the list next week.

HMHB - don't start me on the stray situation here. Breaks my heart.

MP - Thanks! Will do

NVG - my thoughts precisely. But have some put aside to try making plum vodka too.

Gaelikka - I feel your laundry pain. You know my obsession with washing.

Pollyanna - glad you enjoyed it.

Mwa - Drives me insane. But you get used to it after awhile. Now it sort of marks the passing of time in the day. I'll miss it when we leave - just not first thing in the morning!

Iota - there are reasons I dare not try twitter. This is my alternative. And it is addictive. Then, dressed as a desparately cool teenager, in jeans, leather jacket and hanging out by the corner offering a young kid their first cigarette... go on... try it... x

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post - could definitely apply to many of the world's population.

CJ xx

A Modern Mother said...

These are BRILLIANT. Will have to go read the first batch now...

Heather of the EO said...

I love that Dear Boys one! (They're all good of course, but I totally related...since I'm generally red and blowing a gasket over here) :)

Anonymous said...

The plum situation depends on whether or not you want to put your sons off from plums for life. If yes, I suggest canning them. Then you can eat them every day all winter.

Or you could give them to your Imam. Presumably before you ad them to vodka.

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Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

CJ - definitely the driving bits!

MM - try doing a post, they are such fun to write.

Heather - glad it isn't just me!

Solnushka - not sure the plum vodka would go down so well, but then this is Bosnia...

Ted - thank you very much!

clareybabble said...

Um I do this in my head all the time! Didn't realise there was a name for it! xx

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