Sunday, August 03, 2008

Goodbye to Sarajevo. Again.

Tram from Bascarsije to Illdje and home in suburb of Doglodi

I've spent the past week getting ready to leave again in a social world, having coffees and ice cream and dinners and cakes and going on walks along the river and to the Goat Bridge with friends.

The next time back here won't be the same, in part, because my friends the Posners, people whose apartment I have babysat and with whom I've shared adventures and theater, have a new assignment in Israel.

Ann Posner has a most original mind. Let me tell you about her. She was so filled with remorse after getting destructive cats she'd given a home to declawed that her friends brought her a pie -- which made her feel worse because she didn't deserve it, but she still ate two pieces or it. She has the biggest collection of Christmas tree ornaments I've ever seen and the greenest thumb. She has carried amaryllis bulbs around the world for decades. She suggested recently that teenagers of Sarajevo should rally against vandals who regularly damage benches in the park near her apartment. "Considering how vital these are in their lives and how much easier it would be to attain the positions they attempt on two slats rather than one..." she explained to us. Muslim teenagers do their necking, you see, in the park. Ann has collections of photos she's taken of flowers on balconies around the city. She pointed out one to me the other day. "I love that," she said, pointing to a dreary metal stall on a first-floor apartment that looked out on a parking lot. Ranks of smelly garbage cans were not far away, but the residents had planted a big purple bush in front of their place and lined a row of geraniums on the balcony ledge. Ann liked how they'd done the best with what they had.

Well, Israel has is under severe water rationing and this worries her because she loves baths. So this weekend she "practiced" how she might take a bath using less water. She reported that an inch of water was not nearly as satisfying as water up to top. A wet wash cloth didn't do it and then she hit on the solution. She remembered the flowers all over the house -- and the misters. So she figures she can kind of moisten the tub and spritz to satisfaction.

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