Today we had planned to do a day trip to Blagaj, about 12 kms from Mostar. Unfortunately Tim hasn’t been feeling well today, so we spent another quiet day in Mostar. My poor husband is now wrapped up in bed and has been sleeping since mid-afternoon. He is running a bit of a fever and I just hope he will be feeling better by tomorrow.
In the meantime, I have a few things to add to my previous notes. The first is about smoking in this city (or perhaps in this country?). We realised that many people smoke, but I don’t think even we had realised how many smoke! Last night we went out for a quick pasta and pizza at the little restaurant above the ABC cake shop. It wasn’t too busy when we arrived, but at least 2 or 3 tables were smoking. We opted for a table next to the window, thank goodness, as there aren’t actually any ‘no smoking’ areas in the restaurant. By the time our food arrived, the restaurant was filling up, and every single table was made up of smokers! It was unbearable. Tim and I opened the windows a little more, and then a little more and again some more. Eventually we agreed to just try and eat as fast as possible, and get out of there. We stank of smoke! I coughed uncontrollably once we got outside. We agreed not to repeat the experience – we would eat earlier during the day when it was warm enough to eat outside to avoid it ever again.
I have realised that knowing where you can and can’t wear your shoes is a bit of mine field: Not in the bedroom, not in the main house, but you can wear them in the small and larger dining room. Yesterday, when we went in to see the main house, we were ordered to take off our shoes and put on slippers. I indicated that I was happy to wear just my socks. No, no, I had to wear slippers. He pointed at a pair of (worn!) slippers at the entrance. The thought made me cringe – who else had been wearing those slippers? As I hesitantly slipped my feet into the slippers, I could feel that they were still worn by whomever wore them before me. Oh my gosh it freaked me out. Another experience not to be repeated.
Today we eventually saw one of the local lads jump off the bridge – apparently they do this often as a way of making money. They walk around with a hat collecting money, and if they get enough, they’ll jump off the bridge!
I have still not heard any UK English. On our first day there were a few Americans staying at the Muslibegovic House, where we are staying, and today I heard another American woman, but that’s the only native English I’ve heard thus far.
There are no chain stores here, and very little world-wide brands: no McDonalds and I hardly recognise a single brand in the supermarkets!