On Tuesday night, we made a dash to the grocery store and I was surprised to look up and see three children warmly smiling at me. The youngest was really curious but hesitant to engage. I did give the older children high fives. It was such a sweet encounter -- the open faces and warm energy.
Yesterday we set out to catch a ride on the city bus tour. We had gone several days ago but the the tour was canceled because five people are needed and there were only four of us. Even though we all agreed to chip in for a phantom fifth person, the bus driver wasn't having it.
There were the same number of people yesterday but, this time, the bus driver took us up on our offer to pay for a fifth ticket.
There is no air conditioner on the bus and, with the windows down, it was impossible to hear the tour guide who was on the first level of the bus. This woman from Croatia went to strongly suggest that he come upstairs. There was also a microphone port upstairs but the quality was questionable and I ended up moving to the seat behind the guide. Had I not had the 'Fugee to fill in the gaps, I would have missed a lot of information... I'm enjoying the directness of Europeans. It kind of cracked me up when the Croatian woman's husband asked for the English version of the tour map. The bus driver unceremoniously "snatched" the Bosnian version. He was not a rude person but fluff was not a consideration...
One of the things that the guide talked about was the poor condition of the trams which were made in the Czech Republic 30 years ago. There are a few new trams, one donated by Turkey. He also talked about funds, in general, that were donated after the war but how large amounts of money have seemingly disappeared which made me think of the funds mishandled by the Red Cross after the earthquake in Haiti.
Going down the main boulevard, mortar scars are everywhere. I remember the TV images of the Holiday Inn from the news coverage and when the guide mentioned that we were on Sniper Alley, also remembered that and thought about the horror of people being picked off while riding the tram or going to get water...
|Former Holiday Inn|
|Olympic Venue, 1984|
|End of the Line, Bus Tour (Serb Republic)|
Later on, we met up with one of the 'Fugee's friends for lunch then went to a mall for coffee and dessert. The mall was big but still seemed stylish and efficient.
In general, love the Austro-Hungarian architecture. The 'Fugee's friend is appalled by an "awning" recently placed on one of the buildings. She was like How could they?...
|The Academy of Fine Arts (Green Dome)|
|Offensive White Add-On to Entrance Area|