4 April 1992

The first real changes I saw in former Yugoslavia was a border crossing in the middle of nowhere on the highway Maribor Zagreb. Somewhere in a nice green valley full of trees and wild streaming water a couple of office containers were placed and a long line of cars were waiting to be controlled before entering the free republic Croatia. The scene remind me a lot on the famous cartoons of this young french reporter (Rin Tin Tin) with his white dog. In the album ‘rocket to the moon’ (made somewhere close after the second world war), there is a similar scenery. In took me since in this time of opening up all European borders, this is a new step backwards.

For the rest the countryside look peaceful, old farmers working on the fields like they have been doing for centuries. The {josquote} only signs of the war were some half bombed out houses {/josquote} (if a house is totally destructed it is done by the Serbians with there tanks, if some walls still stay it probably was a house of a Serbian and was destroyed by the Croatian forces, my driver told me).
{mostip}Story about me going to Croatia{/mostip}

Arriving in Zagreb showed that the war was closer, about one out of four houses has taped windows against bomb attacks and the landrovers of the Blue Barets are all over the place. But for the rest life seems to go his normal routines. Saturday night fever on the main town square where boys and girls come together.

Although when you go in the restaurants you will stroked by a very strange and nearly kafka situations. We were eating with 4 persons in a huge state restaurant, which would be have been occupied with about 250 people on a normal Saturday, besides us, the waiters and the folkband there was nobody.

And the reason is not that people won’t go out because of the war, but simply because of the fact that it is too expensive for the Croatians. The war cost a lot of money and prices went skyhigh, life is not easy, people need to work on the side line to earn a normal income from which they can pay the rent and food.

On television, a special independent station from Sarajevo (independent since the say that they take no stand in this fight, but even the camera angel can already express more then a thousand words) I saw later that night a few interviews with Dutch women soldiers of the UN peacekeeping forces. After the Lebanon this was just another job for them, they only big difference was that they were now transported by luxes touring car to their battle place, instead of by military airplane, which
means that the war was a lot closer then normal.

For the rest it is spring in Zagreb, the new green leaves are coming out, the weather is nice, the birds are singing and in my room John Lennon sings that the war is over.

After 24 hours in Zagreb I came till a strange conclusion, namely that {josquote}war is a macho thing{/josquote}, no war without machos who will fight it. And the meditarianian area is know to be a really macho culture

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