Monday, January 29, 2007

THE SERBS DIDN'T DO IT

After previously detailed transit adventures, I found myself in Podgorice, the Peoria of the Balkans:





Look what Podgorice has that Peoria thankfully doesn't--these adorable tykes...



PANHANDLING GYPSY CHILDREN! Little fuckers panhandled the fuck out of me while I used an ATM, then fished my receipt out of the trashcan and waved it around while telling me how rich I was. Meanwhile, their daddy is probably hoarding $20,000USD while they get disases from wearing the same set of clothes and die at 35, because that's the average life span of a gypsy.

After boarding a bus from Podgorice, I ended up in the town with a name I can't even remember. Sandusky, we'll call it:





And from there, Mostar:



Look! Another mountain cross! Jesus wuvz me!

Mostar is quite a pretty town:





FULL OF BOMBED OUT BUILDINGS

Mostar was the center of some of the heaviest fighting in Bosnia during the most recent war. And funnily enough, the Serbs, official NATO scapegoats, were not really involved. Mostar was (and still is) divided between Croats and Bosniaks (Catholics and Muslims). And they were busy going at it like no fuckin' other. Until NATO convinved the Croats and the Bosniaks to ally against the Serbs. But just to make things easier for NATO by keeping negotiations simplier. Yeah, that solution is going to work forever. NOT!



And Mostar, now 10 year after the shit, is still totally fucked up. The town is geographically split into Muslim and Catholic sections, and only a few years ago did people start to cross over to the other side. Then again, if you were a Croatian would you really want to cross the tracks to see something like this:





Welcome to the most depressing cemetary ever.



Pretty much every single grave in the cemetary is from between 1992 and 1995.





Note the dates on these three graves:







That cemetary is on the Muslim side. There's certainly one on the Catholic side too, but I couldn't find it.







City hall. Still standing, despite the efforts of thousands of bullets:



Here's the former front line; the street that still divides the Croats and Bosniaks.









On the former front line, there are two kinds of buildings. Totally fucked and brand new:













Even the streets have bullet holes:



The entire city still looks like a former war zone. Sure, there are new buildings and the storefronts are all fixed up, but damn. It's almost impossible to turn a corner and not see some bullet holes or a bombed in building.



Guess what the first things to get fixed up were?







Mostar, however, does have tourist sights besides the macabre. Mostar literally means, "keeper of the bridge". This dude:



Yep, that's it. Blah. The bridge was originally built 500 years ago to replace a rotting wooden one, and was still very much in use before the most recent war, when a Croat shell took care of it. The new one hasn't hit puberty even, it's maybe 10 years old. Still, it makes for pretty pictures. Pretty!





Surrounding the bridge is the tiny old town. It's been fixed up too:



Gotta keep those tourists coming! Mostar also had another can't-miss-7-wonders-of-the-world-site: a statue of Bruce Lee. Yes, that Bruce Lee. It went back to the 80s. Unfortunately a Croat shell took care of that one too. I hope there's a plan to replace it, because I sure couldn't find it. In the meantime, more of this:







I felt like such an asshole walking around this town and taking pictures.

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