Oi Polloi

Dispatches from Sarajevo

Published: Fri Jun 19 2015

When I touched down at Sarajevo Airport, I didn't know what to expect. My friend sent somebody to pick me up. I was greeted with, "Welcome to Sarajevo! Where the history is crazy and the people are friendly." Her name was Emina and what she said proved to be completely true.

In Sarajevo I found a small city in a deep valley, the setting sun turning its river to gold and washing its buildings with mellow light. A city where a Turkish bazaar turns into a 19th century Austrian thoroughfare, turban-topped tombstones stand in the gardens of small mosques, narrow streets wind their way up steep hills and drinking coffee is a way of life.

During my time there, I managed to attend a silent disco, pretended to be some sort of photographer at a wedding and narrowly escaped an attack from a pack of wild dogs, all whilst the city closed down for the Pope's first visit to Sarajevo since 1997.

Here’s some snaps to prove I'm not just making this up.

Višnja is a type of rakija – a drink popular across the Balkans. Višnja is cherry, this one was homemade and really good.

Ahmed aka A SKITZO – He came second place at the Under 21s DMC Scratch championships a decade ago. He gave me a tour of the Sarajevo night-life which ended at sunrise at a club called Pussy Galore.

Bosnian coffee, like Turkish coffee but not, because it’s Bosnian.

How many people does it take to paint railings? 10 obviously.

Did you know that Sarajevo was the first European city to have a fully operational tram network? Of course you did.

Some wall, I don’t know why I took this photo, I probably had a reason at the time.

The Vječna vatra (Eternal Flame), a memorial to the victims of WWII in Sarajevo.

Note: these are not my attackers, these boys were super chill.

The Miljacka river.

For more shoddy photos follow @superbillah on Instagram, or you can check out my tumblr thingy here.