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.