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March 31, 2004

22 March 2004
After a taco bell stop in Tuzla, I made it to Sarajevo. I am pretty much set up in my temp house, and have a nice view to include a cool house riddled with bulletholes. If I were to bring any of you here, you would think we were in the worst part of town, but in fact I have a very nice six bedroom house complete with underground parking garage.

Life here is going to be OK. I am on my way out to dinner and a martini bar. God bless NATO.

Out.

26 March 2004 2110

I have been here for five days now. My initial impression is one of pleasant surprise. I had very few expectations of this place, mostly because I knew nothing about it.

Today I went grocery shopping at a local grocery store that could be compared to a super wal-mart (but about half the size). I was VERY impressed by the selection of everything. I was particularly stunned by the amount of Miracle Grow, grass, flower seed, and lawn mowers for sale; I have yet to see a green lawn.

Looking out over Sarajevo from my work is beautiful; I can see the lush green forest covering the hills and mountains that surround us. The city itself is interesting and it still sports its 1980's Olympic dome and sports venues. It has very tall buildings that could almost count as sky scrapers but not quite.

The scars of the war are still very visible with one or two buildings/houses still burned, bombed and riddled with bullet holes on just about every street. There are many beautiful houses here; very large ones, with a lot of tile, marble and wood floors.


27 March 2004 2113
Just got back from my first road trip. I drove the 320+ km round trip from Sarajevo to Medugorje, the holy place where the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary took place. Apparently on 24 June 1981 Mary revealed herself to six young people (which is illegal in some states in the US I am sure). So basically since then they have built and remodeled a big church and created a rather large tourist market which sells Catholic trinket crap all around the church.

The drive was the best part. It was about 2+ hours each way and was beautiful, through mountain passes and valleys. There are a ton of tunnels along the way -- most of which reminded me of the movie 28 days later -- Freaky.

One thing I must say is that there have been many times when I have felt or sensed the madness of what happened in these places. I stood or have driven through and walked around the roads and intersections where the men and boys of the other religion were rounded up and slaughtered. I have driven passed the buses that hauled the woman from the city to the mountain outposts where they were raped repeatedly by the opposing forces soldier's and then returned to the city. The buses had a habit of being shot to pieces on the way back. It's very strange; I have had similar feelings in past places but not for a long time and not of this magnitude.

Sarajevo now is a very cool city. The people are very trendy and concerned with clothes and looks. Clubbing is huge here and the food is awesome. Work keeps me from enjoying more fully the wonders of this place too quickly.

You all need to plan your trip to visit me NOW! You would find it to be an awesome experience.

Besides my rare feeling of the magnitude of what happened here, I am continually bewildered by how cool things here are. The side roads have many potholes but the majority of the infrastructure is working well. Buses and trains run (they are in poor shape but work). There are street lights, signs, bridges, malls, hotels, many restaurants and very clean, nice gas stations.

30 March 2004 2154

Road trip to Tuzla today. Nice drive but it turned out that the trip was in vain. It was a fun drive though. Having a motorcycle here would be pretty awesome with all the mountain curves and switchbacks etc. The scenery was nice, and I even found some snow at the top of the pass. I drove within about an arms reach of some mine areas (photo's to follow) and then spent the rest of the evening back in Sarajevo hanging out at a café and checking out the crowds. One thing I have to say, and this is only as an observation. The women here are all very skinny, and have large breasts. Its not like I have been looking, but its hard to miss as Bosnians are a very trendy people. I don't remember if I have blogged about the Grave yards here...they are everywhere. They are huge and they can be found anywhere you look, from the front yard of residential homes, to the medians in the intersection. It's amazingly unsettling.

31 March 2004

Just got dial up connected at 31.2kbs damn....
This is all so incoherent... it's cause I am in work mode and that is counteracted by no real work, so I stress and my eye goes all crazy so it's too much work to read back and try to make what I have written make sense. Screw it.

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