Despite all that happens in the region where I have chosen to live, whether politically, economically or ethnically, I am always in awe and marvel how friendships seem to transcend every bit of negativity.
The harsh reality of Bosnia and Herzegovina is however, that people are constantly being manipulated to accept divisive ideas towards the future.
I don't "do" Balkan politics on this blog. Regardless of criticism that I have had regarding that, I am a foreigner, and it's not my place to interfere.
It's not that I don't care, I do, deeply, but it's for a nation state to find it's own path.
Anyway, back to Dreaming, or maybe better described as Reminiscing. I often get to be present when old friends get to meet up after not seeing each other for some time. Especially those who were born when the former Jugoslavije existed.
They talk and get somewhat excited by their experiences and adventures made in, how can I say? more happier times? Maybe those times weren't perfect, but memories can slightly change what the realities were?
As an outsider, I always feel that for certain "older" Balkan generations, periods of nostalgia are quite therapeutic. Maybe necessary even.
On more than one occasion over the years, I have heard people reply to the question " What's the best about your country?" with, " My country doesn't exist anymore".
Confusing as shit to a foreigner.
And so it was, that I sat on the banks of the River Vrbas, eating a local dish of beef and creamed potato washed down by a glass of foaming pivo.
Listening to two former girlfriends who spent most of their childhood summers on an Adriatic Island, talking about the fun they had had.
Of how things on that island had changed and how they longed to visit again.
It was apparent that the futures they had dreamed of back then and that had been ripped away by later events affected them. The nostalgia was very strong.
But as far as life is concerned, it very much is"Šta je tu je" they say here ("it is what it is").
When you read about the western Balkans, especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, have in the back of your mind that the mainstream media and politicians statements, might be painting a perception that doesn't actually reflect the reality of life here.
And better still, rather than read, why not come and experience for yourself.
You won't leave disappointed.