Friday, 26 February 2010

Dear So and So: Bosnian edition, part IX

Oh, I have a few things to take aim at today. My pencil is sharp and I am ready to go!


Dear Bosnian Visa Authorities,

We can't renew the registration of our car until we have our visas. Which means that whilst our visa renewal application is STILL sitting in the pile of paper on your desk we can't use our car. This makes me housebound, tetchy and in the mood for a fight. Sort it out or I'm coming over to get rid of some pent up frustration.

Fraught Mummy


Dear Bosnian Car Authorities,

Please tell me that you are joking. Every car has to have a new set of licence plates (often with a new number) every year? Has anyone ever spoken to you about efficiency, conservation, general use of common sense?

Yours, still not knowing how to take a licence plate off our car because we've never had to do it before,

PS - we have to start the process of exporting the car in March. Any chance we could have it imported before then otherwise we are all going to tie ourselves into terrible knots.


Dear Bosnian branch of a fairly major European bank,

Surely supplying bank guarantees is part and parcel of your day to day operations? Isn't that what banks do? And even if it isn't, why is it that you can't supply one for 2 weeks just because the manager has gone on holiday? Ever heard of picking up the phone to ask someone else how to do it?



Dear Nursery,

I don't really approve of how much TV the children watch during their time there, but I do see that you use it constructively so I'm not really complaining. I didn't really approve of you asking everyone to contribute 20KM towards the cost of the TV and DVD player. But all that pales into insignificance compared to how gob smacked I am that said TV and DVD player has disappeared, rumoured by the other mothers to have been taken by the head of the nursery.

Yours, wondering why you don't use your own salary to buy your own TVs,


Dear parents of the Roma kids begging at traffic lights,

I don't have a problem with the way in which you choose to live your life. If you want to stand outside in freezing temperatures hoping for 1KM from the odd car, that is your choice. I do however have a problem with the fact that you children are also hanging out at the traffic lights during times when they should be at school. Give your children an education, then allow them to make a decision what they want to do with their lives.



Dear Boys,

Temperatures. Coughs. It's the first illness we've had in months and you are being pretty brave about it. If we could just fight a little less about who is going to play with the pirate ship that would be tops.

Yours, administering to your fevered brows,
FM xx


Dear Jess,

We don't have a car, so we can't drive to any of the places we usually walk you. We can't take you in a taxi either, so apologies but it is walks on the lead around here for the moment. I do appreciate this makes for a very boring life, trust me we are as keen to get the car back as you are. However, repeated break outs of the garden to go scavenging in the local bins are not welcome and also make you sick. Stop it, or you will be tied up 24/7 like all the other dogs round here.

Yours, in the hope of one day being a top dog in this household,


Dear Banja Luka,

I haven't been to visit for a couple of years and I had forgotten what a pleasant city you are. One question though. Your new government buildings, the ones big enough to house the entire state of Luxembourg and half the UN, seem a little, well, large for what you need them to do. I mean, how many government officials does one statelet need?

Yours, seeing that the ethos of bloated governance runs strong in the Republika Srpska as well as the Federation,


Dear playground,

Now that the snow has gone is there any chance you could open soon? The boys haven't seen a swing for months. And I'm fed up with them substituting our book cases for climbing frames.

In grateful thanks (and with just a modicum of begging)


Dear Little  Brother,

Your Radio 4 comedy show is GREAT. I'm ever so proud of you, again. Much as it pains me to admit it, you being a right royal pain in the proverbial and all that, but you are most talented.

Yours, knowing that there had to be an upside for all the irritants suffered earlier in life,
Big Sis.

PS - for anyone interested, the show is called Earls of the Court, is a 15 minute 'gentle comedy' about Australians in the UK. You can catch it here. And it isn't just me as the biased big sister who likes it, it's had good reviews too.


Anyone else interested in having a go? Pop over to Kat's 3 Bedroom Bungalow and sign up so we can all come and read them. Better than therapy, seriously.


Kat said...

You're famous by proxy now!!! How exciting!

Anonymous said...

Blimey - life over there sounds like a gas!

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Kat - I'm ever so proud of my little brother.

Mummmeeee - we've had a few weeks of it. Lets just say right now, we are looking forward to getting home.

Anonymous said...

Fab funny and Friday! Put a smile on the end of my day....

Mwa said...

That car/bank/export problem would drive me insane! I'm sure you'll be glad not to have to deal with that kind of thing back in Britain any more.

Pixie said...

wow...beauracracy knowns no bounds, does it?

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Mud - glad you liked it. Always keen to put a smile on a face.

Mwa - driving us insane doesn't even start to describe our feelings about it.

Pixie - not in Bosnia, no! This whole adventure has made me more anti ID cards than ever.

Muddling Along Mummy said...

I don't know how you deal with the bureaucracy - it'd drive me nuts

And I'm off to find your brother's show - we used to live in Earls Court so I think I might be going to like it

nappy valley girl said...

Ooh, I'm going to find that on iPlayer today. Love R4 comedy.

I don't know how you keep your sense of humour with all that going on with the car. I thought it was bad here that we had to get new licence plates when we bought the car!

Laura McIntyre said...

I cannot get over the nursery thing...i mean really that if just wrong.
Hope car is on the road again soon

Heather said...

I am sans car as well at the moment due to irritating paperwork - I feel your pain.

Teacher Mommy said...

Oh, that pirate ship.

Yep, we have one too. Sigh.

Iota said...

Chin up!

That's exciting about your bro's show. Programme I mean.

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

New licence plates every year? Wow that really is paper pushing

Catharine Withenay said...

Clearly a mad and hectic week for you! Makes mine pale into insignificance. Hope all the visa/regulation stuff gets resolved soon.

Sorry I can't get to your brother's show - it sounds good!

Calif Lorna said...

Life without a playground and two small boys. Sounds like hell!

Am off to listen to Earls of the Court :)

Home Office Mum said...

You sure do know how to sell that place. Note to self: visit Bosnia. Don't stay long.

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

All I can say is empathy streaming yr way. Been there sister, oh the frustrations, I can feel my blood pressure rising, & the sweat trickling just reading all these. So horribly familiar!
great news abt Lil Bro tho:o)

Anonymous said...

Ohh dear,...sorry to hear of all the problems you are experiencing at the moment. Think of it this way, "it's temporary", and soon enough you'll be home free.


Amanda said...

Little brothers are awesome. You know, when you are older. ;)

I know I shouldn't be shocked about the disappearing TV at the nursery. But oh! That's awful.

Rob and Mandy said...

Greetings from Cyprus, enjoyed the blog, we have similar problems with Red tape over here, Regards

Young Mummy said...

Hee hee made me giggle. Must be sooo frustrating being without wheels. Hope they get the visas sorted out soon so you can get back on the road. x

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Muddling - it does drive us nuts. We don't deal with it very well. Hope you liked the show! Its on every Wednesday for 6 weeks.

NVG - the sense of humour is so lost I can't find it anymore, even buried in the garden. It raises my blood pressure just thinking about it. AND they are all on holiday on Monday, we could have gone skiing this weekend! GAH!

Laura - it is wrong. Unfortunately it is not that uncommon here.

Heather - I'm feeling yours too. At least I can get a cab pretty easily into town if I want to.

TM - do you have a batman/spiderman too? Sigh.

Iota - I'm so pleased for him. And thrilled and proud. He wrote it and acted in it.

VBC - unbelievable. We only need it for 4 weeks. Then we have to swop them for some export plates. I'm already crying at the thought of the pain, and hit to the wallet, to come.

CW - fairly average week, just spent a lot of time hanging around various ministries, police stations etc, waiting for people to stamp a piece of paper. You must be used to that from Zambia surely!

CL - Can be. Luckily the weather has turned. Spring is here. Life is improving as they can now play football outside. Yes!

HOM - Bosnia - so lovely to visit. Such great people. Just a bureaucratic nightmare. They are really let down by the leaders.

Paradise - ah hah! Another Balkan resident. You know how it goes. How they don't all die of heart attacks is beyond me. Apparently we get better than normal treatment too.

Alex - Only with the bureaucracy. Dear So and Sos tend to be a bit of me getting some stuff of my chest. But today was spring, the woods were amazing, everyone was out and Bosnia is good again.

Amanda - they are great. Right royal pain at the time, but fab really.

Rob and Mandy - I think wherever you go in the world you'll get it. Hope the Cypriots are a bit less paper and stamp obsessed than the Bosnians.

Young Mummy - No wheels is a killer. Mainly because I can't get the dog out for a decent walk (and the boys for a decent run around) without it. Everyone has too much energy at the moment. x

Chic Mama said...

Oh dear...poor you. Hard work!! ;0( x

Babies who brunch said...

I love those! Am definitely going to have a go...

nappy valley girl said...

I listened to your brother's show and really enjoyed it. x

Anonymous said...

hello FM,

I'm a foreigner living in bosnia (born and raised in 1st world). I was going through your blog entries and I agree with most if not all of the things that you've typed about bosnia (mostly agreed; maybe because I live in sarajevo and SOME things here are a LITTLE better, I guess??)

I love your blog and had a great time reading! I'm glad I've stumbled upon it although I wish I had done so earlier.. I am a little sad that soon you'll be leaving bosnia and (as selfish as this may seem) I'll no longer be able to read about the frustrations of a total stranger whom I can (interestingly) very much empathize with :'(

Oh well, all the best to you! It's great that you've made the choice to get your babies out of here while u still can so that they can have a better life elsewhere :P

you go girl,
(Daughter In Law of a BG)

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Chic Mama - it's not so bad really, but those dear so and sos are a good chance to let off steam!

BwB - do, they are such fun to write!

NVG - brilliant! It is the first episode of 6, they are on every Wednesday 11pm GMT. Thanks for letting me know :-)

DILBG - you have much closer experience than me of the BG syndrome. Actually, I love the BGs, they are wonderful and make me laugh. glad you liked the blog. You are based in Sarajevo? I always think that some things are better there - cinema being one - but I don't think I could take the driving or parking.