Most people here identify with three particular stages of life. Before, during and after the war. Full stop. So by default, my life too has been tossed in this most unfair of baskets. The difference for me is that this wasn’t my place before the war. During it I spent half my time trying to figure out what the hell was going on and the other half ducking. But those three years of figuring and ducking have made it hard for me to call any other place home. I am often asked what was the hardest part about coming to Bosnia. The answer is simple: leaving. War changes you. There's no doubt about it. Some for better and some for worse. For a lot of us, it's a combination of the two.

The war has certainly defined present-day Bosnia in more ways than one. But I’m not particularly interested in writing about politics anymore. I’m more interested in revisiting my bizarre connection to the people and places of this tiny Balkan nation – then and now, as well as sharing with my friends and family a war story or two I haven’t yet told. There are a million 'truths' about the war the ravaged this country. I will simply tell mine as I saw it, lived it, breathed it for a long, emotional, and riveting three years.

March 29, 2013
Kusturica goes Hollywood

The Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica plans to make a film about Serbs from Kosovo being murdered in order to sell their organs during the war in 1999. A motivating factor, he claims, is to undue the negative image of the Serbs. When I want to shed positive light on something, I definitely don't need to […]

Read More
February 2, 2013

I don't think I've made a conscious decision to regurgitate specific events or memories from my past. If I have, I'm certainly not aware of it...yet. But Josip's face keeps coming back to me. Let me tell you why. It might be a long one. East Mostar. September 1993. I think. We got stuck in […]

Read More
January 16, 2013
Avlija continued...

So it's dark now. We're in the middle of nowhere. The South American soap operas are over for the day. The border guard has told us our official US Embassy document is falsified. To top it all off, I'm angry and seemed to have the uncontrollable urge to express that anger. I'm pretty sure my […]

Read More
January 10, 2013

They were just two kids playing in their backyard. The avlija, a garden enclosed by a high stone wall, was the only source of normal play for them. Kids like kids, mom and dad let them into the well kept garden to play during a lull in the shelling. A 120mm mortar round came, with […]

Read More
December 27, 2012
A New Year's story

I've just realized that this period is exactly 20 years since my Balkan journey began. I guess it's no coincidence that I've started here then, huh? So I'm standing in the office of the Peace Hostel in Zagreb, heart on the floor, remember? You'll have to forgive my memory, some things are very gray or […]

Read More
December 25, 2012
A Christmas story

It was Christmas day, 1992. That morning I started hitchhiking to Bosnia. Or so I thought. I was living in Muenster, Germany with my girlfriend Christiane. She was an assistant at a dermatologists office and was kind enough to find me a job. My job was to stand solo in a basement to fill small […]

Read More
December 20, 2012
How I got here

I hitchhiked from Muenster, Germany on Christmas day 1992. Traveled by car, train and taxi to Zagreb. Ferry to Dalmatia. By bus to Bosnia. For New Years I was freezing my ass off in a refugee camp. More later...

Read More
The Bosnia Guy