Second semester of someones exchange is always the fastest. Everything becomes routine and familiar and, all of a sudden, next thing they know they are on a plane back home thinking, "Where did the time go?" I've experienced this once before, in a much smaller dose, when I was in France. The first three weeks were slow. My host parents were still working (remember I was there for the summer), so everything we did was mainly stuff around the city. But those last three weeks passed in a whirlwind of last minute travels. The French Alps, the Mediterranean, theme parks, birthdays, everything. And at the end of those six weeks, Châtillon-sur-Chalaronne became another home and everything was finally becoming familiar. But then I bid my farewells and was gone. And here I am again, beginning my second semester of exchange once again.
When winter holiday began and we had a month off of school, I thought that this month would pass uneventfully and, for the main part, it did. The first week or so of January, I rarely left my house. I talked with my host family, I went to church, and that's about it! Then I went to Mostar, which was very exciting. I was then on my way to the office when I got back and decided that I could take the tram one stop to get to the office five minutes faster.
That one stop proved that anything can happen. And by anything, I don't necessarily mean good anything.
I was careless. And even a bit naïve. But apparently being pick-pocketed on the tram turns you from being an American to a Bosnian. Lots of Bosnians have their pick-pocketing stories and I get to add mine onto the list. This just goes to show that not all exchanges can go so simply and freely without a single care. It's now the second semester and guess who doesn't have a wallet? This girl. Right here. Sitting at her computer, with a make-shift wallet currently holding a maximum of 10KM, a new bus pass, and two emergency contact slips. Old ticket stubs and ID cards gone, random coupons I've acquired, and some really important stuff that really sucks to lose. However, after many phone calls, mini lectures from my host parents, police reports, and being extremely flustered, everything important is on its way back. Chances are I will never see my wallet again, nor its contents. But I can hope and pray that it somehow makes its way back.
Moving along to better, happier things. SHAKE went to Travnik! And I know I already went there with my host family, but I just really enjoy it there! I like the fort, I like their ćevapi, I love the scenery. And going with my pretty-much-sisters-aka-SHAKE made it that much better.
We toured around, visiting the colorful mosque as well as climbed up to the fort again, where we were surrounded by the mountains covered in fog. I wish I was able to capture a perfect picture of what it looked like, but unfortunately my artistic abilities in that area are lacking. However, we had a great time, drinking lots of coffee, eating, and trying not to get stuck in the downpour that occurred right before we left.
Then last Saturday was Anna's birthday! The first one of SHAKE to turn 18! So we went classy and headed out to a restaurant. The restaurant was gorgeous, but apparently 7pm is way to early to have dinner. The restaurant was completely empty for the first hour and when we walked in, the entire staff was there and ready to go. It felt awkward at first, having the place to ourself, however it was nice to pretend that we were mature young adults. We gave Anna her gifts (I could only offer a card. Wallet stole, remember?) and we had some delicious food. That restaurant is amazing. Really.
My second semester of school starts on Monday and I know that when that happens, these last couple of months are going to fly. And that's a strange thought. When I talk with my friends back home, they tell me it doesn't feel like I've been gone five months. And I agree! How can the second semester possibly go faster than the first? The first was over in a flash! But, next thing I'll know, I'll be on a flight back home and graduating from high school. Ok. Graduating from high school I am very, very excited for. That aspect can come as fast as it pleases.
Anyway, I should go begin my online Government and Economics courses which I received my materials for yesterday. Need to get that done before I can graduate!
Until more adventures which will most likely take place in February *coughBIRTHDAYcough*,