“Delightfully vulnerable and resilient”…she says.
Well today I most certainly put that to the test. I spontaneously bought a bus ticket to Bosnia- departure time 730am. I was up early, I didn’t really sleep due to the jet lag. So with a veil of sleep deprived agitation, I made my way outside the gates as directed, only to discover that in fact there are two city gates, one on each side. Of course there are (insert eye roll here).
Worried for time, I jogged through the square sending unsuspecting stray cats and pigeons into the wake of my fury, and stopping only to take out money at the ATM..quick stop. Not so much-it ate my card. Days before departure , I scolded my daughter for dropping my card on the side of the road, “one cannot travel without a visa or a passport” I explained. The bank was closed so I snapped a picture of the number to call (this later proved futile as my phone wouldn’t dial out) and said “screw it”. I couldn’t do anything about it now, so I chose to continue on.
At the bus stop, I was asked for my ticket. I realized that I left it in my other bag. Looking somewhat pitiful while pleading my case, the driver relented “ok hop in, Ill take your word for it”. By this time, I also realized that I had forgotten to get food for the trip. My friends that know me well, likely gasped more upon hearing that, than that of my missing card. I glared with misplaced disdain at the people pleasantly seated across the isle, 1. they were sitting on the side with the best views (I hate when that happens) 2. they were holding a large bag of potato chips-my stomach at that point was eating itself.
My internal griping was thankfully abated by a cultural and political commentary provided by the bus driver. He described what Bosnia, among othes, had survived during the war in 1992. So much destroyed and yet so much rebuilt. A testimony of resiliency.
Despite what they have endured, he tells us “we have a good life now, we have worked hard to rebuild what we lost..we feel more secure now”. His positive outlook was infectious, so much so that I barely noticed the collasal sandwhich on his lap. Barely.
Our first stop after crossing the border were the kravica waterfalls-80 ft falls that powerfully cascade over the Karstic river. Within seconds I was wading in the emerald green pools below.
Then onto Mostar, home of the 16th century Ottoman bridge made with local stone. It was destroyed during the war and rebuilt in 2004.
I was told that during the war, the childrens choir came together and sang with all their might, drowning out as best they could, the sound of the bombs-a protest for peace. Another testament to their resiliency. On I strolled, through the crowded bazaar in old town, cramped with joyful venders and artisans. I wished I had more time to explore this magnificat country-there are endless layers of complexity..rich in history and undeniable beauty.
Finally I stopped to eat. This was by far the longest I had gone without food. I ordered a typical Bosnian dish- Cevapi-oblong-shaped lamb kabobs stuffed in somun (Bosnian pita bread) and vegetables that seemed to be a mere distraction from the irresistibly tender kabobs. My suppressed appetite was unleashed and I shimmied my way to the edge of the chair in anticipation. The waiter approached the table cautiously and quickly dropped the plate and scurried away. I devoured that fatty oily pocket of goodness with such fervour I didn’t have time to wipe the grease from my chin. Ahh. That’s Better.
So back to Croatia I head with a full belly and still without my card..and still not worrying too much about it.
Before I sign off lets review the concept of resiliency shall we:
1. You actually can live without things you say u can’t live without- we are indeed more adaptable than we think.
2. Resourcefulness and attitude -part of being resilient means problem solving what you can and reframing what you can’t. Make the calls but get on the bus anyways.
3. Perspective-many things are not as catastrophic as we think – losing my card is surely not the same as surviving a war.
4. And lastly, most unfortunate days can be ameliorated, or at the very least, softened by one delicious meal.
Until tomorrow my friends ..