I have not been in Prishtina for a long time, too long. I constantly postponed the trip, sometimes I have no money, I never have time, I have to learn for exams and so on. I forgot how it felt to pack a suitcase on Friday and go to Prishtina for the weekend, and on Monday to think about the consequences. The truth is that I did not have enough courage to go. Consciously because of all the things I mentioned above. Unconsciously because of the fear that it will not be the Prishtina that I always went to. I thought that things had changed and that I have changed.
Last Tuesday I made a secret plan to go to Prishtina. It consisted of finding where to sleep, finding money, and figuring out how to force my parents to let me go. But the decision was made. On Friday I will be on the bus that is going to Prishtina. I'm not interested in anything. No barricades, no politics. I'm going to go to see my friends. To drink coffee and go out.
As always, things happen the way we want them to happen.
On Friday morning, I am on the bus. Somewhere halfway I get a message on Facebook: "Welcome to our city." Close to the gas pump euphoria catches me and I can not sleep.
In the afternoon I arrive in Prishtina. I'm happy, but I am fully aware that my happiness is irrational. I met a group who came visiting from Belgrade. I'm not removing a smile from my face. I watch them, they look at me. My behavior is funny even to me. The sun is in Prishtina, and it is a beautiful day. I am in Prishtina.
In the evening when we were in cafe together, a 17 year old boy who sells cigarettes approached us. When he realized that we are from Belgrade, he began listing the names of folk musicians he knew about and he told us the story of brotherhood and unity.
I entered the taxi with "dobro vece."
The next day in the park some man stopped us with the question: where are you from? From Belgrade,we answered. He told us: great that you came here, very nice.
At night, in the club we all were a little drunk and Dubioza was playing.
I was sitting and watching. The Serbs and Albanians. They talk, they laugh. They drink tequila. Different people pass by, but no one pays attention to what language we speak. I saw that Prishtina is still the same. But in order to stay that way, we all have to fight for it. We have to fight against everyone who wants us to quarrel. Who tells us that we are different and that we can not be friends. Anyone who tells you that it is unsafe to go to Prishtina or Belgrade lies.
I decide not to be afraid. Because If I was afraid to come I would have missed Prishtina. That has nothing to do with the city or politics. I would have failed to improve my life. Because only when you understand everyone you can understand yourself. And Prishtina is a part of me.
Now I realize that I am sorry for all those who are afraid, because they don't know what they're afraid of. I feel sorry for those that will never dance with Dubioza in Prishtina, who will later realize that they were scared for no reason.
"There are so many things in life we were afraid of. And we were not supposed to be afraid - we were supposed to live." - Ivo Andric.
The article was originally written in Serbian and English.
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