So says Nedim as his mother, Selma, gets ready to prepare a tray of traditional Bosnian coffee for one of many traders in the area. Or possibly for the mosque an entrance to which is literally just across the narrow street.
We are at the tiny ‘mala kafana’ (small cafe) Djulistan, a mini-bastion of authentic Bosnian coffee culture. Selma is not sure how many of the little cups of potent Bosnian brew she dispenses daily in the ancient Bascarsija heart of old Sarajevo. A lot, she says and then reveals that she herself will drink 3 to 4 cups.
'I cannot wake up my eyes in the morning without coffee' - Selma
Nedim is off coffee today. He’s not feeling well he says lighting up another cigarette without a trace of irony.
As we move back outside to get a shot of Nedim and Selma in front of their cafe, somebody accidentally nudges a tray resulting in a trail of spilled coffee. Ah, says Selma, if you spill coffee on a table and the spill comes to you, you will marry an attractive partner. As Paul and Fred are both already married to attractive partners (Saad had not yet joined our expedition), the spill remains just a spill.
Words and images by fred Shively and Paul Kelly, the Balkan Caffeinators
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Our mission is to explore why coffee and cafés are central to the Balkan way of life.