Monday, April 11, 2011

One more image of the mother and daughter who had been separated by five years of war. (See April 10 post.) That trip was so rich in stories. When we came out of Bosnia, the friend I mentioned yesterday, Jeff, decided to take us to the Adriatic coast for a little R&R ... that was after photographing a refugee camp outside Tuzla which had been attacked and a number of children slaughtered (see following photo) ... a night in a flat in Sarajevo whose front windows had been shot out and were covered with blue, UN high commission plastic sheeting when a firefight erupted nearby ... Mark, the writer, was in the back bedroom with earphones sleeping to a loop of music while I was in the front room on a couch two-feet too short for my frame ... we alternated each night who got the best bed ... whenever fighting erupted, I rolled off the couch and tried to dig a hole in the floor ... Mark slept through it all, music in his ears ... I wanted to rip those earphones off his face ... having people shout at us and throw stones while we drove through Banya Luka in a vehicle with Croatian tags on it ... finally re-entering Croatia at a legal crossing in Behac where guards on both sides were so surprised at seeing a Croatian vehicle coming out of Bosnia they waved us through ... back to the R&R story. We were returning to Zagreb from the Dalmatian coast ... yes, that's where the dogs come from ... when a police officer stepped into the road and shook a baton at us. That means stop, but Jeff swerved around him kept driving. They never come after you, he said. Moments later there were blue lights in the rear view. Jeff — who speaks fluent Serbo-Croatian — suddenly became stupid and spoke only English. The cop in frustration finally shook his baton in Jeff's face, stood on one leg like a stork, pumping the air with the other like he was braking ... Mark whispered to me: "Don't you dare laugh. And don't you dare raise that camera."

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