I went out for drinks with my colleague Peter (AP consultant) last night. It was a clear, warm summer night; everyone in Tuzla was out for a walk or at a local cafe for some ice cream. The Korso (the main pedestrian zone in Tuzla) was packed. Young men and women were strolling up and down the street, greeting friends and checking each other out.
It was an opportune time for some people watching: What I love about the Bosnians is the care with which they put together their outfits to go out to stroll the Korso (the pedestrian zone here in Tuzla). Each outfit has a purpose, whether it’s the skin tight shirts of the young men wanting to pick up girls or vice versa, the very short skirts of some of the young girls aiming to tease the men.
I have heard Iain bellow more than once: “that’s hardly a dress”. I can’t really disagree; some of these skirts are hardly more than a large band-aid. Yet they wear it with flair and style and I am envious of the poise of many of these women. And hey, men like it; I have witnessed the longing gazes of some of the young men.
It was on a night just like this when the bomb fell. Lucky for me, that bomb fell almost 10 years earlier on May 25, 1995, but the scene at the time must have been very similar. Over 70 young people were killed while enjoying their evening strolling down the Korso. A memorial has been created for them; new flowers are placed there daily.
As I gaze and wonder at the fashion, I cannot help but wonder what type of people would throw bombs at innocent youngsters, alive with youth and full of their own goals and dreams. That’s what life is like here in Tuzla – it is hard to escape the past. Because even on a peaceful night like the last, I am reminded of events of 10 years earlier when young lives were wasted for such nonsensical beliefs as ethnic superiority.
Posted By Pia Schneider (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Posted Jun 12th, 2004