The embers had burned out in the torched presidency just a few days ago and Sarajevo was filled with the electricity of a maternity ward eager for the pit-pat of new-born democracy’s first heartbeat. It was also Valentine’s Day and I was alone and far away from home; so I decided it was time Max — my fixer — and I got drunk.
An awakening of consciousness might have been taking place in Sarajevo, but just two weeks before masked men had burst into a queer cinema evening and beaten its attendees senseless. Even during the protests there was graffiti daubing the walls reading, “The people are starving and the faggots are celebrating”. I asked a protester what it meant: “We’re Muslim here so we hate gays, so we’re saying that the politicians are gays.”
He certainly wasn’t speaking for the whole country, but what with the LGBT scene being personae non grata in everyday society, I thought it might be interesting to check out a couple of gay bars. Max wasn’t so sure, “You know, we have a saying here, if you go to one of those places you have to put — what do you call those things in a wine bottle?” He asked. “A cork?” I offered. “Yeah,” he said, “you’ve got to put a cork in your asshole.” I told him to wait and see.
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