Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Snowfall in Sarajevo

"It's amazing the transformation when it snows. When you think about how gloomy the city looked when it was raining, and how it looks now..."

- Andrew, musing about the snow, from across the Turkish Quarter

The guys are watching Hostel in the common room. There must be some kind of inside joke amongst hostel owners in Eastern Europe - in every place I've stayed, there's a DVD of that film. Now, I've had nothing but good experiences in the hostels from Eastern Europe, but still... I'm not going to watch that movie while I'm over here. 


It just fucks around with your brain. When you're travelling alone, just about  everyone you meet is a stranger, and everywhere you go is a strange place. Often, you're dumped on the outskirts of a strange town, and you're practically blind, deaf and dumb. By some strange reason, it always works out - there's a helpful local who happens to speak English, or there's a bus waiting at the right spot, or you just stumble the hostel by plain dumb luck. 

But when you watch a film like Hostel, you realise that the world's not a big cradle of warmth and serendipity, that there ARE jackals out there waiting in the shadows, and that when they've got you in their sights, there's probably not a lot you can do to walk away. It really, really fucks with your brain. I cannot emphasise that enough. 

But I don't want to talk about that. I took a walk through Sarajevo tonight and saw snow falling for the first time in my life. It's amazing. It looks light and flurry when it's falling down, but it turns into ice on the streets. It's a powdery white when it's pure and fresh, and it turns into a muddy, icy slush when it's been trampled upon. It covers everything in a soft white haze, and it makes the city look magical. 

You don't get much snow in Australia. You normally have to drive a couple of hours to the snowfields, and nowadays, much of that snow's artificial. Snow in Australia is purely recreational. It's so different when it's falling in the street where you live. It's one of the most beautiful things I've seen so far. 

Here's a photo of one of the orthodox churches:

Oh, and the Arsenal beat Dynamo Kyiv 1-0 tonight to qualify for the knock-out rounds of the Champions League. I caught the last ten minutes and watched Cesc make a 50 yard pass for Bendtner to score. Awesome goal, but I gather it was a poor performance overall. 

Oh well, whatever - we still love you Arsenal.


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Connolly's agent said...

Hey Darren,

Yes, I know that song very well. And yes, I can emphasize a LOT with it. Sometimes you're just wondering what you're doing in each place, and it all melds together. But it all comes good eventually.