There is one route, especially dear to me, through a canyon, the road is leading by a beautiful river. The river’s name is Una. I am driving there often, mostly without any purpose except to clear my mind. Sometimes I am accompanied by friends, but mostly alone. Me and my 17 years old Renault, in a very good condition though. That route is my Prague. Let me try to explain. I remember one Spanish movie where a guy, playing the main role in the film, said that he is going to Prague. Just like that. He went there just because he wanted to. He had hit the road just for the very sake of it. He said that he liked Prague during the weekends, and mystery that every great city contains.
Being a Bosnian citizen and having only the passport of the mentioned country I am faced with the great deal of limitations. Because of atrocities in the nineties that plagued all the area of the Southeastern Europe, and much other stuff that come along, my options when it comes to driving to another country are very restricted. Without visa I could go only to some exotic countries, like St. Vincent or St. Lucia, in Caribbean, actually I need a ship and a plane for that, not the car.
As a guy who is addicted to driving, I can only dream about hitting the road to Prague and saying Hello to the Kafka’s statue. I am imprisoned between the borders of my own, small country.
I got reminded about all this today when I met a group of very young, wonderful French people, two guys and a girl. They were hitchhiking by the road, and I took them for a drive for about next 10 miles. They were heading to Sarajevo; very nice, young people; we talked in English during our brief encounter. I was talking English trying to produce a weird French accent, and they were laughing at that. In a short time span required to get ahead of about 10 miles by car, moving approximately at the speed of 70 km per hour – during that brief time, we touched so many topics in our conversation, mainly just joking and having fun. The ice was broken the very moment I mentioned Gaston (French comics icon).
I always wanted to do the things that they were doing, either to zigzag Europe by car, or by hitchhiking. It seems that I will not have the pleasure to do that yet, at least not in my younger days.
I told them that for some reason I liked their new president Sarkozy. They were laughing. They said that nobody in France likes that guy, or almost nobody. I mentioned their president by chance, while making jokes about pot smoking business because one of them previously asked me - do the people in Bosnia smoke a lot of pot. I answered: “O yeah, mucho my friend, similar chimneys”. (Although I did not smoke pot for years.)
Before I met them, I was slowly but surely going down with my mood, for some reasons. They really made my day with their pot jokes and talkativeness. I drop them after about 10 miles of drive, they were waving and saying goodbye to me. We crossed paths today and it will not happen any more. After we parted, my mood started decreasing again rapidly. I have remembered another moment from this strange day – the moment I saw a snake, by the path, real, long and scary. I remembered her sound while she was climbing up the rock. I haven't seen a snake for years; it is very rare to stumble upon them around here, although everybody knows that they exist. Just as a nightmare can sometimes tell us that something is really wrong with the reality, this scary snake reminded me that something is very wrong with me, that the mood that I am getting into today, is not really the right course for my boat. I remembered that after saying goodbye to tree wonderful people, cheerful and pleasant, all full of life’s joy and adventure. And then I remembered how somebody, maybe me, mentioned Sarkozy, while we were making jokes with each other. And than another French president come on my mind, the one whose very mention is impossible to be related with laughing, at least in my case, the one who was not simpatico at all – the notorious Mitterrand, one of the main people responsible for genocides in Rwanda and Bosnia. One of the main supporters of the genocidal and fascist politics that had plagued the dawn of the 21th century. I remembered his visit to Sarajevo and Pale during the war, his meetings with Karadzic. I started to feel sick. And then I got reminded of some weird French postmodernist thinkers, the ones living and scribbling just after the world war II, whose schizophrenic thoughts just tried to justify the shameful collaboration with the Nazis, using word-play and obscure and hermetic theories.
And then I turned the radio on, just trying to stop this kind of thoughts, because I was really heading into the abyss.