Friday, 9 October 2009

Dear So and So: Bosnian Version, Part V

It's a Friday. The boys are at nursery. The dog is outside. The house is quiet. All is well with the world. So, happily ensconced in my temporary haven, I feel equipped to start my series of postcards directed at those who've caught my attention over the past couple of weeks.


Dear Bosnian Drivers,

I'm pretty sure that driving on the pavement is not a part of your Driving Test or condoned by your authorities. Just wondering why you are all such fans of it.

Yours, forever surprised to come across an Audi coming towards us at speed with all four wheels on the pavement,
Fraught Mummy


Dear Weather,

Got to say, you've been amazing this last week. The car told me that the temperature was 32C yesterday. It has been rather blissful. I'm just wondering how exactly is it possible that we can be having this balmy, blissful weather and yet still be having a forecast of snow for next week?

Yours, in for a bit of a shock if the forecasts are accurate,

PS - got to ask, does this have anything to do with the fact that I packed away all our summer clothes last week and we are now all sweltering in thick winter ones?


Dear Nursery,

I want to support you in every way you can. You do an amazing job with very little resources. However, when you ask me to contribute 12KM towards buying a TV and DVD player, I'm just not sure I can help. I think nursery should be for play and activities and don't want my boys watching TV there. They do enough of that at home (ah-hem).

So, I am sorry. Is there anything different I can donate the money towards instead?


Dear boys,

We made a great castle didn't we? I was ever so proud of it. Such a shame that it had to be thrown around within 5 minutes of us finishing it, and now I have to spend most of my mornings fixing it. Lets try to be a bit more careful with it in the future. Please?

Your not very crafty but trying hard mother.


Dear Bosnian Entrepreneurs,

I'm pretty sure that there are already enough hairdressers, cafes and Driving Schools in Tuzla. Can I suggest if you want to start a new business you come up with one that doesn't have quite so much competition. An indoor playcentre or children's centre would be one idea, particularly with winter rapidly approaching. Or how about a cinema? I'd use them. A lot. Go on, someone must want to do it!

Yours, starting to worry about what I am going to do this winter when the weather gets bad,


Dear Outside Dog,

Chewing up The Economist was unforgivable. Chewing up The Economist with the Technology Quarterly supplement nearly made Dave spontaneously combust. You are on thin ice. Bear this in mind.

Yours with nothing to read in the bath,


Dear Bosnian authorities,

You need to sort the stray dog situation out. Not only do we have Outside Dog setting up camp, but now there is a puppy that wants to join her. I really don't want any more dogs, but can't turf them out onto the street again either. Surely you can get a programme of registration and sterilisation sorted, which will truly benefit the town.

Yours, wanting to remain a one dog owner,

PS - sorting out the stray dog situation does not mean sending the hunters in either. At best that is a short term solution.


Dear Bosnians,

This weather has been amazing hasn't it? We've enjoyed heading out for some impromptu picnics as well. The difference is, we pick our rubbish at the end and put it into the bins that are provided. You have an amazing countryside, which you are ruining by chucking the trash onto it. It isn't difficult to throw it in the bin, if you ever want tourists to start spending their hard earned cash in this country then you need to start doing it now.

Yours, fed up with picking my way over last weeks picnics,


Dear lady who lives down the road,

Thanks ever so much for your gift of the big yellow fruit that looks like an enormous pear but is hard. I have no idea what it is. How do I go about making it edible?



Dear Random Imam,

I know my boys make a lot of noise and don't listen very often. But they are boys and that is what having a garden is for. Standing on the steps outside the mosque over the road and miming at me to smack them isn't really terribly helpful.

Yours, knowing there's some cultural differences that I ain't that keen to try and bridge,


Dear Tuzla authorities,

Your new square is really great. You've really done a good job there. We are looking forward to more afternoons spent lolling around the fountain and sitting on the benches under the trees. I have to point out though that to say this square will become one of the most visited in Europe is ambitious. There is a fair amount of competition out there and I'm not sure people will visit Tuzla solely to see the square. It isn't that exciting.

Did I say that I love the benches around the tree trunks?


Dear Municipality Heating,

I know the weather has been amazing this last week. But as soon as the sun goes down it gets pretty cold. We've been sitting around covered in blankets all evening. They are forecasting snow next week. Please, please, please can we have the heating on, and then we can choose whether to have the heating on or off.


PS - I know I'm being a big old wuss here. Noone else seems to think it is that chilly.


Dear Boys,

We did have a fab afternoon yesterday, didn't we? I have no idea why it all worked and everyone had such a great time when we didn't really do anything different to normal. But I loved it. You were both great.

Lots and lots of love,
Mummy xxxxx


Have a go yourself. Head on over to Kat's at 3 Bedroom Bungalow in Crazy Town and sign up with all the other Dear So and So fans. And do try it, it is surprisingly therapeutic.

Or you can head over to Have A Lovely Time, who have very kindly let me write some top tips for visiting countries like Bosnia with kids.


Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Here in ALbania they picnic on the beach, then get up and leave, leaving their rubbish behind.
They also DRIVE on the beach here, even kids do, thankfully not on pavements tho. They park on them though of course...
Weather is fab here in this neck of the woods, & winters thankfully short. My son was in shorts till Dec 1st last yr.
My daughter's nursery had a tv on ALL THE TIME in on eroom. She was urprsingly creative & even drew pics x 12 for the kids to colour in
& didn't hit the kids either. But the TV.. My daughter watched all mornings some days when there were no American kids there & she cdn't understand anything the ALbanian kids said to her so she just watched the tv.
We always watch dvds under blankets cos of teh cold apartments. Also useful for wimpish me to hide during gory bits etc;o)
Entrepreneurs- cd do wth some here. Here it's cafe cafe cafe, FRUIT shop, cafe cafe cafe. All teh street sellers group together too selling exactly the same stuff.
It seems to be 'spring' for street dog shere ie LOADS of street puppie sveerywhere3 at presen twhich is stressing my son, who is depserate for a pet. He wants to open a dogs home for street dogs in the park. Maybe that's one for the entrepreneurs..(wdn't make much money tho...) They shoot dogs here too.
Loved the thing abt yr square in Tuzla. Recently the PM here announced that he thought Albania would 'adopt the euro soon' How very kind of him. A journalist writign about this pointed out that actually you need to be invited & so not to start printing new currency quite yet. Best wait about 15 yrs 1st

Amy@Bitchin'WivesClub said...

I loved the letter to the Ihmam(sp?) that tried to mime to you to beat your child. That is so random and bizarre!

And, honestly, loved all the letters that gave me some insight into expat life in Bosnia. Oh, yeah, and I am jealous of your warm weather.... I haven't even seen 32c since we moved to England 7 weeks ago!

Mwa said...

miming at me to smack them
- very funny.

I don't get the whole TV at nursery thing either. Luckily that doesn't happen at my daughter's one. They just paint her like a whore.

Anonymous said...

the fruit is quince. smells divine.

nappy valley girl said...

You do them so well - love the Random Imam and the old lady with the inedible fruit.

siobhan said...

Yes, quince. I thought it was a hormone pumped pear the first time I saw one, until I tasted it. Here in Turkey, they are used to make jam or a kind of desert. I think they're pretty indigestable eaten as they are.

Love the postcard style

WeDoAdventure said...

Just read your note to the weather. I'm driving to Tuzla next Saturday with some young people for a uni-hockey tournament. Snow would definitely be a shock for Mostar people!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Paradise - They have a lot in common, our home countries. It is the thing where every shop is the same that gets me. And the dogs.

Amy - you won't be jealous of our weather this week. It is forecast to go from 32 to snow in less than 4 days. And everyone will get sick. Happens every year.

Mwa - I do feel if they are going to have TV then I might as well have them at home. Drives me nuts. But the nursery does stay open until 9pm so maybe it is for the later kids...

Anon - ah hah! Jam surely.

NVG - Bless them all. We have some colourful characters around here.

Siobhan - Jam it is then. As long as it isn't too difficult to do.

WDA - I'm not exagerrating, the whole town is talking about it. Snow is due on Thursday. I'll let you know if it actually happens but either you will need to wrap up warm as the 30C plus temps of last week are GONE! Let me know if you fancy a coffee whilst you are up here. We might even be able to do a cup of PG.

Saba said...

In my country we make jam and cook food from quince.we also use its seeds! soak them in lukewarm
water for av hour....they'll secrete mucilage. it's a salve for sore throat!
as I saw Bosnian just smell it!

Gabriel said...

What a find this blog is, definitely something different, keep up the good work

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Saba - am going to try making jam. We shall see...

Gabriel - glad you like it! You may come again.