I have arrived in Sarajevo! But I almost didn't.
Tuesday, the Irish girl and i were at the hostel in the afternoon escaping the insane heat (Its been high 90s each day in Belgrade) and we were talking with the girl that runs the hostel, Yelena, who we had gotten really close with. Yelena says that because it is our last night in Belgrade, she wants to take us out to her favorite bar and have fun, but her shift doesnt end until midnight. I was a little like ehhh..i have a train at 8am, maybe no, but then i remembered i am on vacation with no obligations to be presentable on this train- im doing it. So Norma and I went to dinner and had some drinks there, came back, showered, I packed my bags (thank god) and we headed out around midnight. We first drank a beer in the park and met some of her friends there and then we all shared a cab and went to their favorite bar, which happens to be a boat on the river! So cool! It was a blast, the music was great, the drinks were cheap and we were dancing, talking, just enjoying the night. I am talking to this guy and the next thing I know, the sun is coming up. I asked him what time it was, he said 4. OK, need to go back to get some type of sleep and finish packing my stuff before I need to head to the train station at 7. I get back, sort of pack, SET MY ALARM and pass out.
I wake up, no alarm thinking "hmm...thats odd". s***!!!!!! Its 7:32 AM. Jump out of bed, stuff my crap into bag, still wearing my clothes from the night before but put on my tevas for comfort. Honestly, still a bit drunk. Run out of the hostel, up the street, furiously wave down the first cab I see. *Side Note*, normally i would have just forgotten the train but I had already told the Bosnian people I met on the train which one I was taking, they had agreed to pick me up and take me out so I really did not want to be that girl. The cab driver is this Serbian hippy man, really good looking of course, who just laughs in my face when he sees me. He says "NO worries, we will be there in PLENTY of time, train station 8 minutes away from here". Perfect. Alas, he was right, I got there, bought my ticket, bought about two liters of water and found my way to the cabin. It was empty, I had the whole bench to my self so I passed out.
When I woke up, there was this cute old man sitting across from me, staring at me. He speaks Russian and asks if I am sick, I said no, just severly hungover. The WHOLE trip, he is asking if I am ok, making sure the window stayed down, gently waking me to tell me we are at border control whenever we got there. So cute. Of course, by the time I wake up, its 94 degrees outside, the train is a virtual oven and I could run faster than this thing, last 5 hours were a bit brutal. I think something happened when we were at the Croatian border because we ended up being an hour late. Once I realized we were going to be so late, I was a little worried because, even though I told Nedim (the boy I met on the train who was picking me up) which train I was on, I didnt know if he would check or know ahead of time. I was fully preparing myself for him not to be there.
I get there, no sign of him on the platform. Ok, that is fair, I dont know if I would have waited for a random foreigner I had just met on the platform for this long. So I walk out of the station, looking for an ATM, and I hear "Lindsey!", it is Nedim and a friend, chilling at a cafe with some coffee. Such a good sight to see. They picked me up, drove me to the hostel I had booked and then I met them later for drinks. My hostel is right in the center of town, off the pedestrian street, and Sarajevo is so fun! It is a small city, like 600,000 people, so people are always running into people they know. The cafes have all moved outside for the weather so everyone is out until late, just relaxing and watching sports. There is live music everywhere and, because we are in the mountains, there is an AMAZING cool breeze always.
Today, I am meeting Nedim at noon and he is going to be my Sarajevo tour guide which will be great to do it with a local. He is exactly my age so i dont know how much he remembers about the war, but it will be really interesting. I have already noticed that Bosnians are really open about it. Afterward, we are going to get traditional Bosnian food at this restaurant he says is good and then go out with the girls I met with him on the train and some other friends to a club. I think Sarajevo is going to be very fun.