...you never know what you're gonna get. I had a cup of tea with my English teacher the other day and told her that after living in the Balkans for two years, I may never be surprised again in my life, by anything! What I should have told her is that I've firmly come to believe the saying "never say never," because I had to eat my words less than an hour later.
Isabelle and I got home early and were sitting in a quiet house doing homework in our rooms. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door, and a Roma woman walked in asking us in local whether we wanted to buy some pajamas. Now, while this wouldn't have surprised me a bit on the street, we live on the top floor in the farthest corner of the house, so our room is about the least likely place for such an event to transpire! A little bewildered, we replied that no, thanks, we didn't need any pajamas, and the woman shrugged her shoulders and left Isa and I to stare at each other in stunned silence. We thought our encounter was over but a few minutes later, the woman was back speaking in German and then insisting, "Come here!" in local. We heard Hilary talking down the hall and then a couple of our Bosnian classmates explaining to the woman that this is a residence not a hostel and we don't all understand local language. Hilary had the biggest shock of anyone...she came home from school, walked into her room, and saw the Roma woman standing there tapping the shoulder of a friend who was taking a nap!
The woman soon left and no harm was done, but it is a bit of a mystery. All three of us had to open the front door with our keys when we came in, so how the woman entered in the first place is anyone's guess. It's an interesting story to tell...a reminder that the Balkans can seem like a land of anything goes, and good training in shock management for our first years.