03 March 2008

First war winter

And then first war winter knocked on our doors.
The city was sort of under siege. There were no battle lines on the outskirts of the city but there was no possibility of the communication outside that small area which surrounded the city. And the worst of all, no power and no food supplies could be brought in the area.
I had pets before the war, huge fish tank with exotic tropical fishes and terrarium with the 2 turtles. Guess what, my turtles names were Donatello and Michelangelo. I loved that Ninja turtles cartoon too.

Anyway, tropical fishes needed warm water. So as the cold weather settled in my fishes started to die. I could not keep the tank warm. We could not keep our home warm. The heating fuel was same rarity as food and medicines. So my fishes and smaller turtle died.
At that time there were even more civilian victims. In the neonatal unit of the local hospital there were 12 babies whom had to be kept in isolated condition and they needed the oxygen. Those babies died too. They never got the oxygen. Later in the war we forgot about them. There were so many other victims that 12 babies were nothing. But at that time my brother was serving at the local military airport. He later told me that he was staring to unused huge bottles of oxygen laying in one of hangars at airports, the same oxygen that those babies needed to survive.
Me personally, ah. I was confused then. At that time I still could not believe that people can be so cruel, that such bad things can happen. And during that winter, during those cold winter night when I was sitting together with my mother next to the only oil lamp (we did not even had candles, we used animal fat which was too old to be eaten to burn), during those nights the nationalistic propaganda started to get me. I did start to believe that ‘the other ones’ are evil. I was half frozen, hungry and scared, and officials were telling me day after day that ‘the other ones’ were cause of my miseries.
I started to believe them.


fresca said...

These posts are very strong, very powerful. Thank you very much for writing them.

(I found your blog this evening because I decided to look around on Blogger and see who else listed "Galaxy Quest" on their profile. I expected to find silly blogs, like mine, and I was amazed and grateful to find this one.)

Yesterday I was talking to a Palestinian man I know I live in Minnesota), and he was telling me about friends of his who live in Gaza and how some of their family members were killed recently.
It was so much more awful, so much more real, so much more sad for me to listen to one person's story than to read about war and horror in the newspaper or in books.

Similarly, I understand Bosnia a little bit better now after reading your personal story here, because when you talk about your fish and your turtle dying, that is such a little, ordinary, personal detail, I can imagine it, I can absorb it a little bit.
And I can imagine a little bit your frustration and your fear when you tried to stop the soldiers from picking on the newspaper guy. It is these intimate details that make history real.

I wish you could be an astronaut! But I am happy to see from your other blog that you have a good job.
Bless you, and thank you for writing.

Darwi said...

Thank you for comment. I'm glad that it can help a bit in understanding what the war is actually like.

I still cannot complete the story; (I stopped somewhere at the middle of the war) because I'm trying to keep the past in the past and not allowing it to influence my life now. But I will finish this description one day. The trouble is the worst part is yet to come.