Eccentricity - Ekscentričnost
Experiencing a "Diva" like performance
Hello and welcome to this edition of our Blog, from Čardačani, in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina, written by an immigrant (me), as I am neither a tourist or a citizen here.
🏴 An Englishman in the Balkans 🇧🇦 is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a paid subscriber.
This past week has been one of ups and downs. A great concert in Banja Luka, changing weather, (we finally got some cooler, damper days), another podcast published and a few days of excruciating anxiety, which left me exhausted truth be told.
But back on track now, so please do enjoy reading this weeks post.
It’s read best with a nice cup of tea or coffee.
Experiencing a True Diva
As you opened our previous post last Friday morning, I was waking up, my mind racing, after experiencing the second amazing concert for me this year.
I don’t attend many these days. That’s for sure. I really should make more of an effort.
As a bit of a backgrounder, I stumbled across a Croatian singer, Josipa Lisac, many years ago. I was immediately taken by her amazingly unique voice and her brilliantly eccentric fashion.
I really never expected to witness her perform live, after all, she is now a healthy 72 years of age. Don’t 70 year olds take it easy?
Just witness bands like the Stones.
Tamara’s niece, Viktoria really wanted to see Josipa as part of the 2022 Banja Luka Fest, held annually in the grounds of the Kastel on the banks of the River Vrbas.
Tickets were bought well in advance
I checked if there was a dress code for the evening, as it seems that the Banja Luka Fest is trying to image itself as a “high brow” event in the city’s cultural calendar.
I was told it would be “sports elegant”. I translated that to mean “smart casual”.
So, Viktoria and I arrived early at the venue, umbrella in hand (as the clouds weren’t looking too friendly) and immediately stumbled on some friends.
Despite my ever increasing social anxiety, it was super cool to chat (read gossip) and catch up.
The concert started on time, and I was immediately impressed both by the stage design and the quality of the audio.
For the next hour and 35 minutes, Josipa Lisac did not disappoint.
The audience I have to say, was enthralled, singing along to much of what I assumed was Josipa’s back catalogue.
There’s a Spotify playlist below that has much of that extensive catalogue ⬇️.
Through most of the performance Josipa sported a small, see through, umbrella, which I thought she was using to keep dry as drizzle started to descend over the venue, but in fact she was using it to shade her eyes from the powerful spotlights that lit the stage.
The dark clouds grew ever darker as the performance went on, and actually provided quite the backdrop to a drone that was hovering overhead, filming the event, its navigation lights flashing brightly
The drizzle then turned into a light shower with Josipa telling the open air audience
"No big words are needed, your presence here says it all, thank you very much. We have two more songs, we won't leave and come back for an encore, so that a total storm doesn't wait for us then. Anyone who doesn't have an umbrella is free to leave, we won't to be angry. Thank you once again,".
Needless to say, the audience didn’t listen to her. At the end of the concert, there was a standing ovation with a touching respect to the Diva that is Josipa Lisac.
It might be that she will stop touring and live concerts. There will always be those kinds of rumours surrounding artists such as her. Only time will tell.
Here in the Village
Tamara just picked these fresh 🥒 from the garden.
Pickled in vinegar, sugar, water.
Tennis at the “🇧🇦 Pyramids”
The Bosnian Pyramids are a talking point here in the country. Fake or Real, the discussions can become emotional to say the least.
For me, to be honest, the jury is out, but one positive is that the local town of Visoko is on the world Map now, and employment opportunities in a depressed area have increased.
To get a “feel” for the idea that there might be Pyramids in Bosnia and Herzegovina, here’s my post from two years ago.
Coming Soon - The Mexican Influence in Banja Luka
Our next podcast features a small restaurant in Banja Luka, that really offers “what it says on the can”.
REAL Mexican 🇲🇽 cuisine.
If you want to read back editions of the newsletter, listen to previous podcasts (we have quite an archive now), or catch other content, all this is available on the web interface, just like a regular blog.
Oh, and please share the newsletter with friends, relatives and colleagues using the button below.
Tamara and I appreciate your faithful readership, your comments, and your generosity!
THANKS SO MUCH ❤️