I have long realised that Bosnians, much like our parents, aren't interested in talking to us; they suffer our company in order to play with the boys. The villages I do research in are always asking after the boys, how they are getting on, whether they are learning Bosnian, how they like Bosnian nurseries and so on.
I had the opportunity yesterday to go to lunch at one of the villages I work near Zvornik (about an hour east of Tuzla), so took the boys along for the ride. It's always a fun journey for them, the road is beautiful and there is a tunnel to go through (now with lights in, which is much safer but spoils some of the into the black hole fun which the boys find hilarious). The boys behaved beautifully all afternoon, kissed the right people, ate the right food, didn't spit it out until they were outside, didn't destroy any curtains and were generally charm personified.
Driving back through the snow and singing at the top of our voices, I was struck that the idea of this trip, to a distant part of the Balkans, in the middle of winter with 2 small children would strike some as foolish. But really it is not that dissimilar to nipping down the M4 for lunch with your maiden aunt. Fewer cars, colder weather and a need to make sure you have blankets and emergency food in the car in case of an unexpected event - sure, but pretty similar nonetheless.