With 15 days remaining in Bosnia, I decided to make a list of the 15 things I will miss the most.
1. The people. My host family, my friends, my random encounters with Bosnian strangers, the confused tourists I’ve helped, the pushy passengers on the tram, and everybody else
2. The views. Sarajevo is an incredibly beautiful city. I will miss the hills that surround the city, the mountains behind that, and the low buildings of Old Town.
3. The music. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the old men who carry around radios and play folk music much too loudly. Balkan music has such a distinct, different sound from what I grew up with, and it’s something I’ll always associate with my year here.
4. The cafe culture. This might be what I will miss the most. Taking the time, nearly every day, to sit at coffee and chat with friends, people watch, relax, and enjoy life. America is a much more fast-paced culture, and it will be strange to re-adjust to that.
5. The graffiti. Why would I miss graffiti? I really don’t know, but I appreciate it because it’s a way young people express themselves, through street art, and it gives some of the communist architecture an extra dimension. I think the graffiti reflects the character of a certain faction of the youth here, which is why I will miss it.
6. Burek. Burek is one of my favorite dishes here- a meat pita (pita is a dish made with filo dough) with beef and lamb and garlic. It’s incredible.
7. Breskva Fanta. Peach-flavored Fanta is this amazing pop, and I don’t know why the States doesn’t have it.
8. The language. Even though my Bosnian is not very good, I will miss hearing it every day.
9. Unexplored surroundings. I know almost every corner of Wausau, because I’ve explored it on my bike, on foot, and by whatever other methods there are. Sarajevo is over ten times the size of Wausau, with plenty of areas still waiting for me to find them. It will be sad to leave that.
10. High school. Once I leave here, I’m done with high school. Maybe I won’t really miss it, but I will have to accept that I am growing up.
11. Kokoda and Pirpa. Again with the food. These are two “fast-food” places- Kokoda makes delicious chicken sandwiches/paninis, and Pirpa makes falafel, burritos, and kebabs.
12. Ex-pats and tourists. I’ve made several friendships here initiated simply because we heard each other speaking English. I’ll miss the desire to go meet people just because they speak my language, and the unique community that comes with those connections.
13. Prices. Someone mentioned American food prices and I thought they were kidding. Here, the most expensive thing I buy is cevapi, which costs 6km. Four U.S. Dollars.
14. Bosanska Kahva. Bosnian coffee is so good. Luckily, I’m taking home a dzezva with me, but it’s not quite the same when the only place you can get Bosnian coffee is your kitchen, after you’ve made it.
15. Religious variety. It will be strange not to hear the call to prayer every day, and not see the Orthodox domes on churches. I’ll miss seeing the different religions.