After a rather uneventful flight, I was picked up by the embassy driver and representatives, who kindly drove me to Mostar. We drove through unusual rains, through the hairpins curves of the road to Mostar.
Once we passed through the ‘and’ tunnel, which I was told separates Bosnia from Herzegovina, the landscape changed. The air grew clear, and the sun began to peek through the clouds.
My first two days here have been whirlwind of kindness and hospitality. The faculty at the University of Mostar welcomed me with a lovely gift, speeches and a tour of the campus. The campus is a combination of the old and the new. The faculty of Philosophy ( where I am housed) boasts of a new modern building. The open plan and wide corridors, large glass and clean white walls and floor makes an impression of openness and light. One feels energetic just standing there.
As I was told, students carry about small blank grad books. In each book is a record of all their final marks, which serves as their official record.
I was a bit surprised to see the graffiti tags on many of the buildings, but this is a common site about Mostar.
Today was a free day, which I spent wandering about Mostar. Few streets, especially on the East side, have names or numbers. I have learned to use landmarks. ( For those who don’t know, during the War, the geographical division between Bosnians and Croatians became a literal line. The Frontline. To this day, the division exists. One can see it visibly in the architecture and landscape). There is a certain sadness in the air.
Mostar is in an amazing landscape. Surrounded by hills, it feels slightly unconnected from time. It feel timeless.