My friends here will say that I mix up the days some times, if they read my stories but besides these small chronological mistakes, everything is the reality. Besides remembering the days of the week, I really have no idea which date it is, but that is that is absolute normal for me. It happens also normally.
What do you do in Zagreb, when you think or talk about the war, besides sleeping, telling funny stories, making people laughing, trying to act normal? I have chosen a little bit to establish a job for myself in this wild bunch of overworked activists, each of them near to a breakdown. None of them really choose to do what ever they are doing, but each has found so its place in the madness of ARK. I; of course; forget in no time the names, but their images are scarfed in my mind, so are their stories.
Vesna and Vesna (those two are simple to remember, even when they are totally different), Zoran (who can forget him, he is the rock in the place in all the sences of the word), Edin (24 hours waiting for news from Sarajevo and when it arrives he keeps on sending it by fax to all newsrelation we have in the book), Milena (who flat I more or less took over, tired since I came here, but today suddenly full of energy), Aida (the girl, which is more the consciousness of the group) and as another rock is the countinglady (sorry forgot her name for the moment, who tries keep the books a little bit in order) Plus dozens of other people, who drop in and from which I slowly get a little notice what they are doing. In the beginning, it was not clear for me that the ARK office was share with many other groups, from which some have next to nothing to do with activities of the AntiWar Campaign. If it becomes a little bit to crowded I go to Green Action and help my friends a bit by standing in the way and talking with Toni about his windmills plans. However, there it is also often crowded, the room is rather small and lots of people pass by, also for me to discuses ways how the get money or otherwise establish there plans for after the war or even already now.
Somehow, I have the feeling that I am useful here in some ways, even when it is only to put a smile on people face and help them to think about dreams, which can come if this war is over. Never was in a country were so many people have so many ideas.
I feel at home here for the moment, even when my work is basically putting news on the electronic networks in the hope that somebody somewhere reads it do something with it. However, you need steel nerves to keep on smiling when one modem after another seems to be impossible to work with under these conditions and for every message, you have to phone London 5 times before you have a connection without dust on the line or just suddenly get disconnected. I try to keep the moral high by saying it is going into the world, knowing that I am fooling myself. Everybody out there is bloody hard working on his or her own important tasks; it took me also 6 months before I went down.
When I am working at night typing in the "english" faxes from Sarajevo into the computer 560 or less kb, 1 disk drive Amstrad computer, which is from Milena, I need to go first to Green Action to play it from the 5’2 disks to a 3’5 disk on my own computer, which I brought with me (a fully equipped communication machine with fax/modem and a4 scanner, both useless because the modem gave up the third day and the scanner can’t read faxes which are so badly send (war conditions)), then I have to go to ARK (2 km walk), to wait for half an hour until the only machine (a Mac) is free and work my way through to greennet.
In Dutch, we have a saying do you know how a cow catch a rabbit? However, when it does not help when can at least say that we tried it. Help from outside are for sure the little notes which came so far via GreenNet from my friends, I thank you all, and have tried to answer you in my spare time on Sunday afternoon. I have made a poster on the wall where I put them up and the really good once I try to send through to Sarajevo, but the printer on ARK only functions half, so to get them printed out I have to go the Green Action office, my printer can’t work together with the Mac on Ark otherwise the solution was easy. Furthermore, when I am ARK other from Green Action uses my machine to put their ideas on paper.
Whenever somebody from were in world comes to this place in the coming weeks or months I beg him or her to bring a good laptop with him or her and a working strong and fast fax/modem, I will do my utmost best to get it paid as soon as possible but until the end of this war I promise nothing. Further on a good laser printer would be handy, matrix printers are fine, but far to slow, we need fast and good quality (most people are too tense to wait too long for there printing work, but can you blame them under this pressure of war).