Going back in time, I would say that the concert on May 24 went quite well. After the concert, I had the pleasant opportunity to reunite with Dejan Mladenovic, excellent violist and teacher with whom I had played chamber music 16 years ago in Novi Sad [this was quite an interesting ensemble, indeed: my teacher Marina Yashvili, Dejan, and Hungarian-Yugoslavian cellist Istvan Varga, plus one student of each, playing "Souvenir de Florence" by P. I. Tchaikovsky, in the Soros Fest 1994], and to personally meet Silvia Monros, a fascinating personality and an important actor in the field of Spanish literature in Serbian, who translated major works by J. Cortazar and T. Eloy Martinez into this language. This happy gathering continued well into the night thanks - again! - to the hospitality of our consul and his wife, who invited us to their home. We shared a very touching "Argentine" moment there, since we caught scenes of the (long past due!) re-inauguration of the Teatro Colon through internet TV. On some level, this was important to me, since, inspite of the heavy feelings and overall negative view on Argentina's professional music world with whichI left my country six years ago, it still matters to me. I might wish it didn't, yet I think it's good it does.
On May 25 we played for Valjevo's music high school. They have a small auditorium that, I need to say, exceeded my expectations in terms of acoustic response - playing there was indeed a very gratifying experience.
So, finally we took off to Bosnia-Herzegovina on May 26, by bus. Either we were really lucky, or Sonja's good judgment played in, matter of fact is: it was a totally decent, clean and comfortable bus, and the people at the border (the immigration people, I mean) didn't have a problem with my Argentine passport. Perhaps an opportunity to live a Kusturica-like scene was lost (something along the lines of a very multi-cultural and dirty bus, with chickens and the Balkan band that is a requisite of the genre), but then again, I came to play concerts, so that's probably a good thing.
The landscape, particularly on the Bosnian side (the second half of a 7+hour trip) is one of a charming beauty, and as we gained altitude (this is a mountain region), you could feel the change in the air and the slight drop in the temperature.
And so, we finally arrived in Sarajevo, the city whose name became the symbol of the criminal non-sense of interethnic war. I wished I could have gone immediately to explore it, but I still had a short rehearsal, a meal and a concert before me, so this exploration is something that, hopefully, I will begin in the second half of this day.
However, it is worth noting that the first thing the taxi driver mentioned to me when I sat in the cab is that his son lost both his legs because of a landmine. I have no way of telling whether this is truth, nor am I so naive as to not to understand that he was playing the pitty card on a foreigner to get a better tip... yet the fact itself that such story would sound credible is telling, and sad.