Monday, March 6, 2017

Mira & Safija

It's been almost nine years here. My family, friends and colleagues in Turkey have kept asking for all those years about how I exactly feel about being a foreigner in Sarajevo. 

Some of them expect me to start complaining about possible homesickness, conflicts with the locals, and/or the language barrier and its fatal consequences. Some others expect me to praise the beauty of the landscapes here, to be carried away by the nostalgia for the former Yugoslavia and/or to trace the presence of the Ottoman Empire in this fabulous land. 

Such expectations naturally require a detailed discussion of my experiences in Sarajevo so far. When I started this blog that was actually what I had on my mind: documenting my individual level of exposure to Sarajevo culture. So, this post, in that sense, will serve as just another story to build my own story in Sarajevo intended to meet some of those expectations.

Well, what I love most about living in this city is that I am surrounded by people from culturally diverse backgrounds. This has its practical consequences for me such as having the opportunity to meet different cuisines and several religious, philosophical, political and ideological views encapsulated in one single city. 

Interestingly enough, this diversity has not resulted in chaos as most of the locals complain about. On the contrary, as a foreigner, I feel like just another pinch of spice  added to this amazing mixture of flavours. 'I too am one of those many 'different' components of life in Sarajevo after all and I am no different then.' This is very welcoming and this is the very feeling I have when I think about my place in this city, which has been confirmed by endless examples in the past nine years.

Please take a look at the two photos below. 

I found the basket full of all those greens in it in front of my door one day after a hectic day at work. It did not take me long to guess who left the basket there because it was not the first time that I had received such gifts from the same person: Teta Mira. She is an elderly neighbour who brings you some kale or Swiss chard leaves from her own garden just because she knows that you are still breastfeeding and greens are good for the baby. 

Teta Mira's treats

And I received some fresh raspberries in that tupperware accompanied by some fresh mint leaves and flowers from Safija, a dear friend, when Asya returned from a playdate at her place. Since she is a dietician and knows the best about combining food, she made my day by sending this little gift to us. 

Safija's afternoon treats 

I believe even these two individual examples of kindness and thoughtfulness on their own would be enough to describe the fantastic people I live among in Sarajevo or how grateful they make me feel every now and then. Yes, this is what I like most about living in Sarajevo.

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