this is just what life is like: After having actually lived and worked in Israel for quite a while I had to go to Zagreb (Croatia) for my first bomb. Perhaps this really is the prove for what so many people keep telling when they are asked whether they aren’t afraid of living in Israel or some other dangerous place: If somebody “up there” – or where ever – wants you gone a day is enough to get you killed. On the other hand if there’s still a plan for you – believers in Asatru, the ancient Norse pagan tradition, would refer to it as the net the Norns, deities of fate, are weaving and where the yarn is only cut when the person dies – you better go out there and look for that one.
Interestingly it doesn’t change a thing. One’s first bomb, I mean. Going to Israel I was prepared for it – or at least I thought so – but I imagined it would be a deep going experience of your own mortality; that it would chance things. In fact it didn’t. You hear that sound – no, it doesn’t sound at all like explosions at television. It’s a very brief but loud sound; and it sends the ground shaking – and you don’t even just know out of some bred-in instinct or so. On an intellectual basis of course you guess that this has not been a normal sound for having grown up in a city you know what cities sound like, and that was no usual sound of a city. Yet still you assure yourself “It was just a …”. And then, after a minute or two of absolute silence with everybody having stopped talking, you hear the sirens. Xillions of sirens, it seems, coming from every corner of the city; police cars, ambulance cars, firefighters. So this is why they count sirens in Israel, I thought.
Then life goes on. People continue their chats, their phone calls, continue what ever they did. A lot of the people traveling with me didn’t even care what actually had happened, many only found out when we returned home and for none of us it was a big deal or a shock or some ‘deep going experience of mortality’ so. It was just a bomb; something that happens in the news every day. It doesn’t change a thing which, on some level, is even more frightening then if it had changed things.
The only sign of an extraordinary situation we further saw was a long traffic jam – it took us about an hour – in front of the border station because of tightened security as we left Croatia the day after.
For Croatia of course it does change things. Some believe, so I found out when reading newspapers and articles at the internet after returning, that Croatia is on the edge of chaos. After all they are assassinating Journalists which isn’t much of a good sign in a democracy.
…central Zagreb was blocked. On the streets of the capital of the government there is fear, disbelief and panic among citizens. It is recommended to restrict movement for all citizens of the city center due to blockade of police who are trying to blockade a large circle around the town to close a crime that evidence would not be destroyed.
Can the police stop all this? Can I help a recent shift in the ministries of Interior and Justice? I doubt it. Can the people change it? […] This will not only stop so easily.
Take into account that Croatia is a country which has just been recovering from a long and brutal civil war. And which has done a tremendous job at that. At least as far as the tourist’s regions alongside the coast are concerned. In Slavonia (north eastern Croatia) there are still a lot of destroyed buildings yet talking to the people I was astonished how much they are into rebuilding their country, now that the war is over. I just don’t even dare to imagine what it is like to return to your hometown after war and find it completely destroyed yet decide to stay and rebuild the thing, get back to busyness as soon as possible. I really felt deep respect for them.
‘Just hope what happened in Zagreb doesn’t mean and change too much … it’s a beautiful country with beautiful and strong citizens; they really do deserve peace and wealth.
But then … who doesn’t?