During our conversation, she reveals what it is about our city that has captivated her.
She first heard about Sarajevo during the 1984 Winter Olympic Games. She recalls being very happy and excited that the English ice skating pair, Torville and Dean, competed at the Olympics and received a perfect score during the figure skating competition, allowing them to take home a gold medal.
It was a newspaper article about Kazandžiluk Street in Baščaršija, and its metalworkers, that inspired her to come to our city. At that time she was studying restoration and metalworking, so she decided to come and learn more about these Sarajevan artisans.
Sarajevo is different from everything
She was immediately impressed by Sarajevo because it was so different from everything she had ever seen. On her very first day she ventured up to Žuta Tabija at sunset, when the sound of ezans (the call to prayer) was coming from surrounding mosques. It was a magical moment for her.
She says that she especially enjoys conversations with older Sarajevans, as she listens to stories about Sarajevo in the past and how it is now. In this way she has come to learn about the mentality of the local people.
She thinks that Sarajevans possess an open spirit and are peaceful and calm. She has been especially taken with the spontaneous kindness she has experienced from total strangers. She's also impressed by the resilience of Sarajevans, who are still cheerful and have time for one another, despite the difficult moments they have had in the past.
She feels that the greatest shortcoming of people here is that they lack an environmental awareness and aren’t worried about polluting the environment.
Juliet has made many good friends in Sarajevo and she’s especially fond of the concept of komšiluk, which involves maintaining good neighborly relations – something that is hard to find elsewhere in the world.
She laughs when talking about how surprising it was to see that people here are so afraid of a draft, which is totally opposite to her own belief that a little fresh air can do no harm.
It has also been hard for her to get used to the bureaucratic procedures which are so prevalent in our country and sometimes run counter to common sense.
Her daily Sarajevo ritual consists of drinking Bosnian coffee, either at work or in the company of friends and neighbors. She finds it really relaxing and she derives great pleasure from it.
Juliet insists that, compared to other cities she has lived in, it’s easy to be a foreigner in Sarajevo because people are very approachable and kind to strangers.
A very special city
She says that the greatest advantage Sarajevo has over other cities is its beauty, and she cites the fact that our city really is very special, in a visual sense. She says that another advantage is the indescribable warmth that one can feel here.
As for its shortcomings, Juliet asserts that they are mainly related to the political situation.
She says that her symbol of Sarajevo would be the džezva (coffee pot), because it represents traditional trades and handicrafts, and drinking coffee with a fildžan (demitasse) and džezva occupies a central place in the whole idea of komšiluk!
While she really loves Bosnian food, she says, with a smile, that she tends to add chili to most of the dishes! She loves sarma and stuffed peppers and she can’t do without the “classics” – ćevapi and pita.
She would recommend a first-time visitor to walk around and explore Sarajevo, to go up to one of the surrounding hills, to sit in a restaurant that offers a good view, to enjoy a panorama and to try to comprehend the relationship between the city and its environment.