• Sarajevo, Bosina
  • Sarajevo, Bosina

Hill/山丘

In the summer of 2019, I have lived in a small hillside community bordering the old town of Sarajevo.

Every day, I walked past a cemetery where thousands of Bosnians who died in the Yugoslav War are buried. Vertical tombstones shrouded half the hillside in white, reminding people of the genocide that took place here. There were others in elsewhere in the world, and there will be another genocide, another terrorist attack, another hate killing; then another grave, another cemetery, and another monument, with or without the names of those who died. How could a passerby not pause and wonder why humans never stop killing each other?

斯里蘭卡發生恐怖攻擊的這天,我在塞拉耶佛安頓下來了。小公寓位在老城區旁邊的山丘上,無論工作還是購物,下山、上山、上山、下山成了生活日常。

進城的路上是一片白色墓碑,嵌在半山腰,很美,也很悲傷。至於那些浮在白色的紀念牆上的死難者名字,即使在陽光照射下,也毫無溫度。南斯拉夫內戰最末期,超過8000名穆斯林男子一夕被殺害,至於那些在戰爭期間死的人們,無論幾面紀念牆都不夠填寫。人們說在這裡,戰爭還沒結束,只是暫停罷了。但生活在同一個國家的波士尼亞人,無論宗教和種族,左鄰右舍,真能再拿起武器相互屠殺嗎?

說不可能好像太天真了,這裡和外面的世界一樣,人類在對彼此的暴行上,從來沒有極限。

So-called Privilege/共犯

The average income of college-educated Bosnian young people is approximately 600 to 700 Bosnian Marks (BAM); that is, if they can find jobs after the school. For those who are unfamiliar with BAM, that’s equivalent to about 300 to 350 euro. However, “most young people won’t even get a job,” according to one of my colleagues at the War Childhood Museum.

For those young people who try to stay in/come to Sarajevo, the biggest challenge might be the rental market. There are many international NGOs operating in Sarajevo, and they bring in a large number of the foreigners. Of course, there are also many people coming to experience life in an exotic – and affordable – European city. Foreigners earn euros or US dollars, and enjoy the low cost of living. Landlords increase the rental prices, double or triple; and those foreigners pay anyway because it’s far cheaper than where they came from. Most of them won’t feel guilty, as they believe that they are contributing to Sarajevo’s development.

However, neither rising prices nor economic development necessarily improve the lives of young Bosnians. It is hard to live in a city where rent can be as high as their entire salary.

My funding for the summer internship was 950 CAD per month, two times more than the average local income. That amount, in addition to getting to enjoy a three-room apartment in the heart of Sarajevo, was more than reasonable. I was also one of those people who had the luxury of not caring about rental prices.

And that just makes me feel sad.

戰爭童年博物館的同事告訴我:一般波士尼亞的大學畢業生,一個月賺600–700馬克,是300–350歐元,至於波士尼亞的人均月收入,好像只有200多歐。掐指一算,學校給我的實習補助是當地人平均收入的兩倍有餘。

當初的戰爭和現在的難民危機,讓塞拉耶佛聚集大量的外國人,當然也有很多是歐洲的自由工作者賴在這裡。領外幣在波士尼亞生活,絕對是天堂,這裡觀光區的標價完全和西歐一樣,而一塊歐元換兩元馬克,在非觀光區,菜價便宜到讓人想哭。

房租也是,在塞拉耶佛老城區的黃金地段找了一個兩房一廳的公寓,約莫500加幣一個月,對來自多倫多我來說這價格算什麼。我大大方方地付了錢,慶幸自己的房租比其他去歐盟國家實習的同學都還低,忘了有很多其他城市來的波士尼亞人,他們想來塞拉耶佛打拼,但他們要住哪?這樣的房租是他們一個月可以賺的錢,那還是如果他們找得到工作的前提下。外國人帶來的觀光財讓當地人賺的有限,然被推高的房價卻默默把自己的國民拒於城市之外。

旅居人均不夠高的城市,寫部落格文章時可以吹噓這是冒險犯難,可說穿了,自己終究也只是全球化資本主義下傷害當地人生活的共犯罷了。

初稿於2018年5月間寫成,2020年發表在方格子,最近又修改了。

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捲|YZ

捲|YZ

Torontonian, Writer, Researcher, Political scientist in making. 座標多倫多,
前半生是靠遊牧客棧和生產文字維生的歐亞大陸流浪漢,現為半路出家的政治學學徒一枚,關注種族、移民、排外、民粹等議題,擅寫生命流水帳。

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