Aug 30:  Belgrade to Sarajevo

Up at 5:30am after 2 hours of sleep.  It felt like not sleeping on an overnight flight--not tired, but messed-up.  And considering I hadn't eaten since 3pm yesterday, I was in great shape.  Even with the Contiki tours, this was my latest night relative to wakeup on any tour.

Last night was the international debut of the pink shirt, but today was the world debut of my Ravishing Rick Rude shirt.

As we gathered to leave the dorm, many students were still up drinking from the night before, wearing lab coats.  It was some graduation/finals party.  So then I felt weak for sleeping those 2 hours.

We had a 7am 7-hour bus ride to Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina (country #37).  I tried to sleep on the bus but it was very bumpy like in Russia and my head constantly banged against the window.  And there were a lot of turns that slammed my head further.

We took the tram from the bus station to our accommodation.  There was a discussion afterward about pickpockets, who apparently had targeted a few people in the group.  Mary Tod's backpack was unzipped but no one lost anything.

Upon arrival we checked into a guesthouse owned by some Italian guy.  Individual rooms but shared bathrooms; nevertheless I'll recommend it:  "Pension Skend".  The guy's wife usually handles the checking in but she was out, and it was more chaotic with him doing it.  Everyone else got their rooms but I had to wait in the foyer for some reason.  Finally he came back and I asked if there was a room for me, and he handed me the keys and said "Yes.  This one.  Capisce?"  Not really, but that would have been cool.

We then went out for a walking tour with local guide Mohammed, along the river and through the old town and bazaar.  Old towns are cool but tend to be too tight for good photos.

Only pic I took today.  Speaks for itself.  I imagined Will Forte announcing "the Habsburg line has ended" like when Pee-wee's disturbing prince character died on 30 Rock.  The guidebooks all seem to say that World War I started at the Latin Bridge, but the actual spot is around the corner.  I wouldn't have known and was all excited about taking a photo of the bridge, which would have been quite lame.

The old town is an interesting place.  The main street (Ferhadija) has an Austrian look, then on the next block suddenly changes to Turkish--testaments to the years of Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman rule.  I drank from a fountain at the mosque--mmm.  Clean and cold.  The biggest problem with Sarajevo is the beggars--they're mostly women and children (often "working" together as families) and are extremely rude.  A few admonished us for not giving and one woman called someone in our group a bitch.  I wanted to say "you shouldn't have had all those kids if you couldn't afford to raise them, you cumslut", just so I could use in conversation one of my favorite words that's so vile it isn't well-known enough to be considered offensive.  One of her kids had a bike, and someone in our group asked where he got it, and he said his mom bought it for him.  At least she wasn't blowing all their food money on fake moustaches.

We had dinner at Zeljo 1, a popular place with two locations diagonal to each other.  The second one is called Zeljo 2.  I (and most of the others) had cevapi dripping in kajmak (a product somewhere on the cream-butter continuum) with onions.  Good stuff, especially after 28 hours of not eating.

Half of us sat out and drank afterward.  I had 1/2 litre of the local beer Sarajevsko, at which brewery Gorana recommended we eat at some point.  I felt my first raindrops of the trip and was dismayed when they extended the tent to protect us--I hadn't felt rain since early spring.  Rain is enjoyable in moderation.  While we were sitting, the pest with the bike sneaked up and startled me.  I retorted with a harsh F-U, and it worked because I never saw him again.  If you often wonder why Angelina and Madonna don't adopt Bosnian kids, this is why.

All of us wanted to catch up on sleep, so we got back to the hotel at 9:30pm and I went to bed at ~10pm.  I had Eternal Flame stuck in my head on account of our meeting point tomorrow morning.