Friday, July 18, 2008

Synchronicity at work - big time

This is just too totally awesome. It has been almost a month since the last time we had a first-time visitor from a new nation (or a new flag for our virtual collection).

I just logged in at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport and saw that the counter showed 126 countries. Where would our new guest be?


Now, are y'all sitting down? My driver to the airport is from Mostar. He just gave me a small Bosnian flag on the drive. The flag is in my briefcase. And I just learned to say Zdravo (hello) and Fala (thank you).

A very hearty welcome to today's new visitor and any future guests from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Zdravo!

The driver, to whom I dedicate this post, though I do not know his name, also popped in a CD of Bosnian music that was lovely to listen to.

From Wikipedia:

Bosnia (Bosnian/Croatian (Latin script): Bosna i Hercegovina, Serbian (Cyrillic script): Босна и Херцеговина) is a country on the Balkan peninsula of Southern Europe with an area of 51,129 square kilometres (19,741 sq mi). The last official census in 1991 recorded 4.4 million people, which was prior to the 1992-1995 war, while an unofficial census in 1996 by UNHCR recorded a post-war population of 3.9 million. Its 2007 residential population is estimated at approximately 4 million. Formerly one of the six federal units constituting the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina gained its independence during the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. Bosnia and Herzegovina can be described as a federal democratic republic that is transforming its economy into a market-oriented system, and it is a potential candidate for membership in the European Union and NATO.

Here is your visual tour!

I can only guess at a few words of this but the music is soothing and I am all about balm for souls these days.

Perhaps you are needing something more energetic and modern feeling with a touch of modern dance thrown in?

Zehra Deović singing MOJ DILBERE

--the BB


FranIAm said...

Running the risk of sounding like a name dropping traveling asshat.... yes, I have been there.

Under completely spurious circumstances I can assure you.

Paul said...

What sort of spurious circumstances, Fran? Sniper fire?

(Oh, I am so bad.)

susan s. said...

Mmmmm, Cheeese!!!

FranIAm said...

I am sorry, but I can claim no such excitement. When I got there, then President Bush did escort me from the plane personally, so I was safe.

We used Babs as a shield.

(Very very mean!)

That said, it was during his era, 1990 to be specific, so that if I had a passport stamp (they used a paper that you left in your passport and that was removed when you left), you would note that I did not visit Bosnia-Herzeogovina or Croatia, but that I had visited Yugoslavia.

Earthbound Spirit said...

The dh & I celebrated our graduations (his M.S., my B.A.) in 1983 with a trip to what was then Yugoslavia. Everywhere we went, people first mistook us for German tourists & tried their German on us (dh speaks enough to get by), then they were SO eager to practice English on us when they discovered we were Americans - especially in Sarajevo, as this was the year before the Olympics. Somewhere in our photos is a shot of me standing on the bridge in Mostar - a bridge that connected two cultures. It was destroyed in the war. I cried.

Paul said...

Earthbound, what a lovely journey to share with us here. Thank you. Yes, I knew about that bridge and the cab driver had a small refrigerator magnet of it in his car. He assured me it had been rebuilt, though having been rebuilt it is no longer the old bridge. I wept over it too.

I've never been there but I took medieval Balkan history at UCLA and the names of all the places ring in my ears. When I saw the small Mostar football team banner I instantly thought of the bridge, before seeing it on the dashboard. He said that under Tito you did not talk about which religion you were and everybody was equal. It teaches me to acknowledge complexity - while I hate tyrants that does not mean everything a strongman does is wrong or evil.

Such a sad, messy place the world is - yet so beautiful and glorious.

FranIAm said...

Yes - Mostar with its bridges and minarets, of which I only had the briefest of glances.

Tragedy upon tragedy. I am reading a great book which takes place partially in Sarajevo... The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. Highly highly recommended.

Earthbound Spirit said...

Please let me chime in with a recommendation for "Pretty Birds" by Scott Simon. Gritty, but very good, a novel based on experiences from his time covering the siege of Sarajevo. The dh read it in hardcopy - I've listened to the audio version.