Wednesday, 7 October 2009

A countryside afternoon

An afternoon out of town for the Brit family. Jess needed her annual jabs so we headed on out to the vet that we like to use, who is about 15 minutes drive out of town.

I like this vet. He is no nonsense and funny. The clinic is a wooden building, with a terraced area equipped with table, chairs and space for that all important coffee. Weather permitting consultations are conducted outside, over said coffee, or occasionally a small shot of some homemade plum brandy (sljivavica). Jess, used to the cooing of our soft English vet, finds the Bosnian one a bit rough and ready. He doesn't waste any time, uses muzzles and additional muscle if needed and gets on with it. A consultation never takes more than 5 minutes, with an extra 15 tagged on for coffee.

Jabs received, Pet Passport completed with appropriate stickers and stamps (we do have to get Jess back to England at some point so it is extremely important that everything is well documented) and coffee drunk, we were done.

Everyone was busy out in the countryside. There is a limited amount of time to get ready for winter, so the fields were a flurry of people finishing harvesting their produce, cutting up wood, finishing all the jobs that need to be done whilst the weather is holding. We wandered along to visit a friend, who was in the thick of the autumnal jobs.

The boys were thrilled. Axes for chopping wood! Small puppies to pick up and play with! Plants to be dug up! Pigs to be fed! Chickens to be chased! Apples to be harvested! We are talking true small boy heaven here. They got to work, they got dirty and they had a terrific time.

I had noticed that since we got back from holiday last week, there just haven't been as many people around as there were during the summer. But as most Bosnians who live outside of towns live on small holdings and many of the townie apartment dwellers also have country houses, I've realised that they are busy preparing for winter. The men are chopping wood to heat the houses through winter and making sure all those outside jobs have been completed, the women are bottling, pickling and preserving the mountains of fruit and vegetables that have been grown.

Perhaps most importantly though, everyone has been making sljivavica and handing it out to all and sundry. Hence the stacks of bottles at the vet, who boasts that people always give him their best bottles. We left the vet with a bottle of our own. Not being such a fan of the drink we'll use it for getting the ticks off the dog. Shhh, don't tell anyone. We might live in Bosnia, we might have Bosnian residency visas in our passports, but we'll never be true Bosnians.

8 comments:

TheMadHouse said...

It is lovley to get back to basic sometimes. I love hearing about your wonderful life. My FIL is a farmer, so I know how much boys love tools and things that can hurt. MadDad has plenty of scars to prove life in the country cabe a dangerous, but fun time.

Richard said...

Is that stuff the Bosnian plum brandy? Gave it a try a few times on my visits to Bosnia, but let's just say I couldn't develop a taste for it either. Maybe you have to be brought up there to properly appreciate it. After all you, wouldn't expect Bosnians to like cricket, or Bruce Forsyth.

A Modern Mother said...

Lovely description of the countryside, I visited Slovenia a couple years ago in October and it was the same...

Tattie Weasle said...

True boy heaven - it's what we are doing as well - much chopping and picking and climbing ladders a few scrapes and lots of dirty laundry!
PS if the plum brandy is anything like the stuff the Serbians produce it can also be used for things such as starting fires and jump starting cars!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

MH - we did enjoy it. I did have to keep a pretty close eye on the axes though...

Richard - yes indeed it is. Definitely it is something you need to be bought up with. We use it to get the ticks off the dog. The Bosnians are appalled at this lack of respect for their national drink.

MM - Slovenia is lovely. We keep meaning to go back and spend more time there.

TW - It is the same stuff. You could also use it to strip paint, unblock pipes and as a weapon of mass destruction. Particularly the home made stuff.

Iota said...

The ticks like it, do they? You pour it out in little tiny tick-friendly glasses, and leave them near the dog? Then the ticks smell it, and jump off the dog to go and drink it?

Wow. It must be good stuff.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Ticks love it. They fair old leap off the dog to submerge themselves in it. The certainly go in there when we manage to detach them from the dog - death by drowning in sljiva. I think many Bosnians would think that was a pretty good way to go!

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