Friday, 4 December 2009

Dear So and So: Bosnian Version Part VII

It's Friday. Time for that moment to write some postcards to the people I have something to say to, and as it has been a while I have a lot to say. Right, who is first in the firing line?


Dear Jessie,

Although the weather has been filthy these past few weeks, it has been a joy to take you for walks. This is mainly due to the fact that there are no picnickers or people enjoying a quiet lunch in the parks, which means that you can't disappear for hours on end only to be found harassing some poor woman who is frightened of dogs. You would have a lot more fun walks off the lead if you would only learn that picnics are for people and not for dogs.

Your ever watchful owner,
Fraught Mummy


Dear Bosnian VAT authorities,

Has it ever occurred to you that for a company attempting to sell products outside of Bosnia, the requirement to obtain passport numbers or notarised copies of the investiture documents kills potential sales stone dead. Can you give us one good reason for having to have it? On the off chance you are actually thinking about why companies don't want to invest in Bosnia, I'd recommend starting with this little piece of needless bureaucracy.

Yours, not sad to be leaving the red tape,


Dear Bosnian Nursery,

I know that we are not really in a Christmas celebrating area, so I'm not expecting Christmassy type things to happen. But if you are going to have a Father Christmas come and visit the kids and hand out toys, doesn't it make sense to have him come before Christmas?

Yours, a little confused,


Dear Boys,

Given that you are the running, jumping, shouting, wrestling, thumping variety of boy, it did bring a tear to my eye to overhear you telling the other that you loved them. Then to see a voluntary hug nearly had me howling. I don't know if you have decided moments like these are all the more special for their rarity, but my goodness me it was a special one for me.

yours with an extra special hug and kiss from your Mummy,
Mummy xxxx

PS - particularly nice touch to do it as several Bosnian Grannies were walking past, who all smiled approvingly and gave me the rarely obtained look of what lovely children you have. I did like that. x


Dear Bosnians in the post office

OK people. I know I am British and therefore am born knowing how to queue, but seriously, have you not learnt this skill yet at all? Do you realise how difficult it is for me to stop 2 boys from dismantling the cardboard cut out display whilst running laps of the post office and causing the security guard to threaten to throw us out again, let alone fight for my spot in the queue? If my attention is diverted for one second from elbowing my place to the front it shouldn't mean that I have to get sent to the back of the milling crowd again. Bosnian Grannies, may I take this moment to say - you are the worst offenders!

Yours, tutting in a way that only a British person can,


Dear Luke,

To wake up at 5.30am, see you with your pyjamas round your ankles, bottom bared, and hear those fateful words 'I did a wee all by myseff' was alarming. To realise that you meant in the loo was thrilling. You are a little superstar.

Lots of Love and hugs
Your ever so proud Mummy

PS - the period from 5.30am to 7am when you systematically stuck your fingers in my ears and nose, singing and whacking me over the head with a water bottle was not quite so thrilling. The next stage is obviously doing a wee all by yourself and then going back to your own bed for more sleep.


Dear Bosnian Authorities,

We are going home in April. Can you not just extend the visas, car import licence, right to work etc. for 2 months rather than force us to go through the whole rigmarole all over again? Come on, have some pity here! Please? Ok, how about just the car import licence? Just thinking about starting the assault on all the bureaucracy again makes me want to cry.

A big GRRRRR directed at you all,


Dear Tuzla,

Your new playground is great. Really it is a playground to be proud of (and my goodness me did you need a playground here!). But, did you talk to any Mums before building it? It's just that to reach a lot of the equipment you have to go off the paths, and at this time of year that means heading through Somme-like mud, the kind that doubles the size of your shoes in under one minute. This then gets all over the playground equipment. Any mother in Tuzla could have told you this will happen.

Yours, grumpily that having finally got a playground to go to, it is only occasionally usable this time of year,


Dear Outside dog,

I have no idea where you go all day. But I did spot you on the other side of town yesterday when I nearly ran you over as you ran out into the traffic. Do be careful.

Yours, ever worrying that you will not be coming back this evening,


Dear Dave,

It was a cold. I had the same lurgy. It wasn't that bad. Seriously.

Your loving but rolling her eyes at the heavens wife,
FM xx


Dear tenants of our English house,

I'm not going to write much as you never know who might be reading. But just to say you signed the contract. You must have known you were planning to move out earlier than expected.

Yours, not wanting to be a real pain, but really asking us to not mind if you don't pay a couple of months rental is rather hopeful,


Dear English School and County Council,

You have been legends in your own time. Thank you for agreeing to take us on, thank you for finding us a place and thank you for not minding too much all the too-ing and fro-ing. I promise to not cause any problems again. Well for at least a couple of months.

Thank you thank you,


Dear Bosnia,

You know we love you, particularly your people who have just got the best sense of humour and can make me laugh and laugh. But right now, what with the weather, the red tape and all, we are feeling a bit ground down. Can we have a couple of days that remind us how much fun it can be here?

FM x


I feel better already. Anyone else wanting to join in can - just remember to head over to see Kat at 3 Bedroom Bungalow and sign up.


Very Bored Housewife said...

Great postcards once again. The Santa thing though, when is he visiting. Papa Noel doesn't show his face around these parts until the 5th of Jan as the Spanish give presents on Jan 6th or 3 Kings as it's called. Just wondering??

Kat said...

I love that your boys gave you that moment of genuine good behaviour. My girls surprised me on our trip back from the states with absolutely the best behaviour and I had this one lady who was walking towards customs with us at Heathrow praising my parenting (out loud) and I was so flustered. I was just bursting with pride. Don't you just love it when you have moments like that?

TheMadHouse said...

I love the dear so and sos, once you have dealth with Bosnia red tape the UK is going to be a since again.

Teacher Mommy said...

I'm looking forward to seeing what your British versions are like!

Anonymous said...

Sadly we are no longer the paragons we once liked to think we were. Darwinian selection pressure has applied to anyone queuing for a bus in London ever since LT introduced the OMO buses.

Anonymous said...

Sadly we are no longer the paragons we once liked to think we were. Darwinian selection pressure has applied to anyone queuing for a bus in London ever since LT introduced the OMO buses.

Miss Angie said...

Yay about the kid in the loo! Good job!

*Visiting from Kat's!

Anonymous said...

Why is it that men think they are dying when they have a cold?

Liz (LivingwithKids) said...

Oh I do worry about Outside Dog. Hope he does come back. Could you add an Outside Dog widget, or something? The Outside Dog is in/out, something like that? x

Toni in Ithaca said...

Geesh! The first time I went to a bank in Tuzla, just to change a large bill, I was horrified about the "mob" vs a proper "queue." Someone from the U saw me and rescued me. Then I had to surrender my passport to get the bill changed. I was petrified, but got it back. Never again!

As for the boys' affectionate embrace, it does happen eventually. Ours regularly growled at each other until mid-teens when the invading body snatchers, who had taken them around age 12, returned them in some semblance of agreeable-ness. Now they have their own children to contend with!

nappy valley girl said...

That's so cute about the boy-love in. Mine do that sometimes, when they're not pushing each other over....and yay about the early morning wee!

Mwa said...

I know about the queueing. When I moved back to Belgium, I genuinely could not get served in a bar any more. Now I don't know what's to relearn.

London City Mum said...

FM I love your postcards. The one Luke about wee-ing 'all by himself' is very very close to home.

As is the hugs one. Wonderful. Has me smiling inanely like the village idiot.


Sparx said...

Oh brilliant brilliant... I might have to write some of these myself. And, are you sure that is not MY son poking you in the ear in the morning? Sounds JUST like him...

Kate said...

Great postcards. I sympathise on the red tape thing - absolutely the WORST thing about moving countries. We moved from Belgium (lots of red tape) to Bahrain (even more, only no-one can tell you the rules). Nightmare!

Tattie Weasle said...

Wonderful Post cards - esp the one when teh boys gave you that very brief moment of good behaviour - timing is all important!

A Modern Mother said...

Ha! I think you really need to come home soon. Love to see those postcards... (Dear BT -- why does it take FOUR WEEKS to get a phone working?)

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

VBH - Oooo, interesting. I think it might be a new years thing here, but the orthodox new year is sometime in January so the whole thing is very complex (especially for an overstretched Mummy... with dishclothes for brains at the moment!)

Kat - Yay your girls! Do they save up these moments to take us by surprise? But love that they are in visible places.

MH - I have a feeling we've forgotton how bad UK red tape can be...

TM - Dear British Weather. You are rubbish. We are going back to Bosnia!

Owen - Oh, bus queues. Scary places.

Miss Angie - Hello! We were very excited about the loo part!

Mejis - no idea. But also they seem to think women should just pull themselves together as it is only a cold, whereas they have some form of Ebola virus.

Liz - so do I. She is such a lovely dog. I have a whole post planned about her.

Toni - I don't do the banks. Way to scary. Post Office is my limit. Not looking forward to the invading body snatchers!

NVG - Do yours also do the sweet hug thing and then push each other over (you know, just in case we thought they actually thought the other one was ok...)

Mwa - my elbows are sharp. Watch out Britain for our return. I'll be the one at the front!

LCM - couldn't stop smiling all day! Even had to phone Dave to tell him about it. May show how seldom it happens here.

Sparx - they do look a bit similar...

Kate - So not looking forward to moving back. It is going to be painful.

TW - Timing is crucial. They get extra brownie points for getting me an approving what lovely children what a good job you are doing comment.

MM - In some ways we can't wait! But the red tape nightmare before we come home is threatening to drown us already, and we still have five months to go!

Dancing to Lambada said...

haha i love your postcards! i think i might have to write some of my own.

with the whole santa clause thing; in bosnia deda mraz, jelke, and presents are all tied to new years eve and not christmas. i think that while we adopted the western tradition, we transferred it onto a secular holiday for us so that everybody can celebrate it :)