Friday, 7 August 2009

Dear So and So, Bosnian version

Having found writing the postcards to my family the other week to be a most enjoyable post, I decided to take on Kat's challenge and write a Dear So and So post; postcards to all those people who need to be told something.

Dear Bosnians,

You can be a Bosnian and a non-smoker. The two categories are not mutually exclusive.

Yours, gasping for air,
Fraught Mummy

Dear Bosnian tradesmen,

The key to a good job lies in the detail. For example, putting in a power socket is a good thing. Plumbing a hot water pipe directly in front of it is not so clever.

Wearily yours,

Dear Bosnian Kitchen Fitter who fitted our kitchen,

The drainage board is there to permit the water from drying utensils to drain away (the clue is in the name). In order to do this it requires somewhere to go. When you decided to cut short your job by half an hour and chose to not plumb in the pipe that goes from the drainage plughole to the water outlet thing and decided to superglue the whole thing shut, it sort of ruined the whole drainage board idea.

Yours and getting pretty grumpy about constantly having to slosh out the water from the sink,


Dear Sarajevo,

You're getting a multi-screen cinema? With online booking? We might have to move.

I'm buying the popcorn in preparation,

Dear Tuzla,

You do not have a cinema. You have a cultural centre that occasionally (and I mean occasionally) shows films. The other place you insist is a cinema has been shut for over a year. How about following Sarajevo's lead?

I'd like to be buying popcorn in preparation but am not holding my breath,

Dear Bosnian pedestrians,

You are the bottom of the pile in the street hierarchy. I can only admire your confidence in wandering out into the road without looking at all, before ambling along in front of my car.

Hoping you have a long and happy life,


Dear Bosnian Drivers,

I'm English. When I see people on the pedestrian crossings I stop. I can't help it, it's in my genes. I appreciate this constitutes as dangerous driving here. I am dong my best to curtail this impulse.


Dear Bosnian Drivers,

Please stop honking me at traffic lights. I can't go before the light turns green. I also can't go when there are people crossing the road in front of me. I'm not traffic light telepathic either, I don't know when they are going to change.

Yours, in a fluster,

Dear Bosnian Drivers,

Thank you for flashing your lights to indicate a police check ahead. I appreciate this very much. Long may this tradition last.

Blowing you all kisses of appreciation,


Dear Bosnian Grannys,

When the boys eat a whole lot of chocolate they WILL go a bit hyper, run around, shout loudly and behave appallingly. This is why I don't give them chocolate very often. If you really want to give them chocolate then please do, but only a little bit. And if I say that's enough, please don't give them any more. If you ignore me and continue handing it over, please don't be surprised if they break things in your house or if Adam is sick. Just saying.

Yours, trying not to be a killjoy but also wanting an easier life,


Dear Bosnian hosts,

I have never seen so much food. I've eaten so much I really do think that I will never be able to eat again. Please don't be offended that I've turned down 4th helpings. The food is delicious, I simply can't eat any more.

Yours, many pounds heavier than I was earlier,


Dear Bosnian women,

How on earth do you manage to turn out such enormous feasts with such a small amount of workspace in your kitchens?

Deeply impressed,


Dear Bosnian women,

How on earth do you manage to do all the washing up on little or no hot water?

In awe,


Dear Bosnians,

What is the obsession with sofa beds? I get it for when they are in the sitting room. But in your bedrooms as well?

Sitting uncomfortably,


Dear Bosnians,

If you get real beds then you can also invest in fitted sheets. Fitted sheets are a good thing. I miss fitted sheets a lot. I feel you will embrace them too.

In a right old tangle,


Dear Pedestrians,

Do they teach you to always gather in places where it will cause the most amount of trouble? When you stop at the top of the escalators no one else can get off with out piling into you. Keep on moving.

Grumpily yours,


Dear young and supremely glamorous Bosnian girls,

I didn't know it was possible to get into jeans that tight. Nor did I know that hotpants were made that short. Nor did I think it was possible for so many long legged beauties to gather together outside of a Milan fashion show. I feel most dowdy beside you.

Yours, without make up and with no hairdryer,


I could go on forever here, but feel this is enough for right now. Other Bosnian residents, anything else fundamental that I've missed that you'd like to add?


Laura - Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy? said...

Very funny, I especially like the escalator one.

And I could also adapt the Dear Bosnian Granny one to Dear English Granny

PippaD said...

I think I am really getting a feel for where you are from this post!

Kathryn said...

Now I am going to have re-read all of these to Robert - the same way I had to re-read to him your ex-pat stalker post - I love your posts and wish I had the way with words that you do - top post!

Kathryn said...

ps you may think I am married to a man who can't read - rest assured he can but he has that very annoying habit of everytime he reads something funny he has to read it TO me instead of letting me read it myself - hence I have to do the same to him!

nappy valley girl said...

Great post - can quite understand where you are coming from with the chocolate....

ck said...

Please, please PLEASE post more of these entries. They are hilarious!

Working Mum said...

That post had me chuckling away. I now know a lot more about living in Bosnia.

Thanks for popping in to mine.
WM x

Anonymous said...

traffic light telepathic! hahaha! good blog :)

Lorna Harris said...

What a fantastic list. You should put them in book! Great way of learning about the culture.

Linda said...

Do you not flash your lights in advance of a police check then? I thought everyone did that - everywhere (especially in Shrewsbury and Wales!):).

You reminded me of one I could have done (ages ago now)

Dear St Petersburg drivers,

Thank you for stopping and giving me a lift to anywhere I please, wherever you had planned to go, when I simply step off the pavement and raise my arm. I will be forever grateful for all the money you saved me in taxi fares, but when I am the mum of two daughters I will look back and say: Whoah what the hell was I thinking?

SandyCalico said...

My plumber decided not to connect the pipe from the plug-hole to, well, anything. I pulled out the plug and a whole sink of water just fell out the bottom.
Yours in sympathy,
Sandy x

Maternal Tales said...

I love these - I could sit here all night and keep reading - they're fantastic - and so well written and funny too. Oh how I've missed your posts (think i have ratehr a lot of catching up to do now since I've gone awol). Am all back now though....deep sigh of relief. Love the chocolate one - that is my Granny all over! xx

Sandy said...

Very good! I am alternately thinking I must visit Bosnia and will never visit Bosnia. Clever! Came via Kat.

Nicola said...

This is brilliant! Okay - I am now going to be unwittingly compiling a list of my own 'letters' in my head from this moment on. Genius. Had me snorting with laughter.

Kate Morris said...

You should write a column about life in Bosnia for a newspaper. I think it would work really well.

The taxi driver who took us from Essaouria in Morocco to Marrackesh, the other day, used a hand signal to indicate to oncoming drivers that there was a police presence waiting, for about 5 miles. Loved it.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Laura - there are a lot of similarities between Bosnia and England. The role of Grannys is definitely one!

Pippa - at least I managed to stop posting about laundry for once.. Bosnian laundry and British laundry problems are pretty identical

Kathryn - keep on reading. I read things I find funny to Dave. He finds it annoying too. I prefer to call it an endearing habit of mine.

NVG - doesn't it just wind you up?

ck - I have it in mind, but go over to Kat's - she does it every week and is always looking for people to join in.

WM - not that different from living in the UK really!

BMC - I had cause to curse at them today about that very same issue.

LH - I'm starting to worry about what I chose to put in the list. There are so many others that I could have said. I was just annoyed with their driving yesterday...

Linda - I haven't seen an actual police check for so long in the UK, just the cameras. Here they don't have cameras but a lot of bored police men. PS - could say the same about South African drivers. Why on earth did we think it was a good idea. May my children never know what I did when I was their age...

SC - you should ask if he was Bosnian. Sounds like what would happen here.

MT - Welcome back - I'm looking forward to more of your posts. Go to see Kat's, she does them every week and they are brilliant.

Sandy - just visit and make your own mind up. Just don't drive!

Nicola - It's a terrible habit. I can't stop it now I've started.

KM - Do you think anyone would be interested? And so glad there is the world wide conspiracy against police checks. They are a good thing in driver solidarity. The anitode to road rage.

leah marie said...

Very well written! I can certainly identify, especially with the glamorous Bosnian girls. Since I am there age, I seem to have no excuse for stepping out on the street after only 10 minutes of preparation, but I'm still not sold on the skinny jeans.

I've been in the U.S. for the last couple of months and so hadn't heard about Sarajevo's new that I am excited about!

Victoria said...

Very much liking the dear so and so genre. More please. The escalator one could be adapted for dear tourists in London.

PS please join twitter. I will show you round

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


nixdminx said...

Ha ha ha - I totally love this - it's more of a love letter though isn't it? It really makes me titter. ciao for now Bosnia x