Wheeling and Dealing - Mućke
Finding out about the link between Only Fools and Horses and the former Yugoslavia.
Hello and welcome to another multi-media newsletter from Čardačani.
I’m not too sure how long this weeks newsletter will be as I have been “laid up” for the past 3 days or so, with something between a very bad head cold and ‘flu (that annual thing I suffered with in the days pre COVID). Not pleasant at all.
So. No Vlog this week ☹️
But firstly, as usual, and I don’t want to come across as repetitive, its great that you like to read the newsletter. If you’d like to support us, then maybe you can Buy Me a Coffee?
Tamara and I appreciate your faithful readership, your comments, and your generosity!
THANKS SO MUCH ❤️
A quick round up from the village.
As mentioned at the start of the newsletter, things health wise have dropped a bit. Nothing to worry about, just niggles, but still things that have an impact, especially when you are no longer a spring chicken.
I had thought that I had finally put Autumn/Spring ‘flu attacks to bed. Nothing like that for the past two years, but heh hoh its back. You know, that temperature, sweating, headaches, aching limbs etc.
It’s not COVID. Tamara and I had an antigen, so now there are both viruses lurking locally. Noticeably however, unlike pre COVID, instead of battling through to fulfil obligations, I have now excused myself.
And subconsciously keeping a distance, even at home.
Maybe if that had happened pre COVID (the distancing thing), ‘flu might not have been the disrupter we all came to “accept”.
Tamara’s parents have returned from their Montenegrin holiday. They had two weeks of fun and relaxing. They deserve it.
They bought some amazingly tasty pršut from Kotor, and during their cross country return journey, cheese from the Cincar Mountain
Cincar is the highest mountain of western Bosnia and the only one exceeding 2000m It is part of the Dinaric Alps
Now for Something not so Bubbly.
The exodus rate of young people from Bosnia and Herzegovina is alarming.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is losing up to €21,000 per person that leaves the country.
The latest figures from 2018 show that 44,700 people left the country.
It is anticipated that more up to date numbers will be additionally depressing.
It seems the favourite destinations for people from Bosnia and Herzegovina are Germany (54%), Slovenia (26%), and Austria (9%) of total emigrants.
The all up population of Bosnia and Herzegovina is around 3.8 Million
The main reason for people leaving Bosnia and Herzegovina is the inability to find work. For young people, who are typically the most mobile part of the population, high unemployment rates represent one of the main push factors. The unemployment rate of young people in Bosnia and Herzegovina is enormous, with almost 40% of people having no chance of finding any sort of work after finishing their education.
Prospects to be honest are miserable.
This huge unemployment rate, combined with low wages even if work is found, does not create a good prospect for young people. The average income in Bosnia and Herzegovina is around 6 times lower than in Germany and Austria, which are the most significant countries for emigration from this area, while it is 8 times lower than Norway, and 10 times lower than Switzerland – other destinations for Bosnian emigrants.
I am not the brightest bulb on any Christmas tree, but taking this to its conclusion, my adopted country will soon be populated by older middle aged and old people. Any youth remaining will lack massive potential.
When the Dayton Peace Accords were signed some 25 years or so ago, did any international oversight body consider the secondary or tertiary long term consequences of what they had implemented?
Doubtful. Sticking Plaster remedies only. Maybe.
I find it sad to watch a generation just bursting to escape.
For those that aren’t aware, British TV had a runaway, successful comedy show called “Only Fools and Horses", that ran from 1981-1991.
But what has this show got to do with Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider region?
I only found out many years ago when, due to my rather weak London accent, some of my local colleagues would drop phrases such as “Rodney you Plonker” when I messed up.
Knowing where these phrases had come from, I asked how they knew.
I was educated or rather enlightened to the fact that this show (called Mučke in the local language) was a major favourite on local TV.
To prove the point, one of Banja Luka’s iconic bars for the past 2 decades or more has been the Peckham Pub. Peckham, being the part of London where the show was based on. The quote for the image below is from in your pocket.
I even remember a member of my team, Vladimir, opened a CD shop in Banja Luka (they were the rage back then) and called it Mučke, completely decorated with images and posters of the series.
To get a feel for what this TV series was like, here’s a taster.
This series resonated with people of the former Yugoslavia.
"Only Fools and Horses is my childhood," "There's still a framed poster of Del Boy, Rodney and Boycie in the bedroom my brother and I shared growing up. Del Boy is a dreamer - and in Serbia, there are a lot of dreamers."
"Our mentality is similar," "the ways we manage to make ends meet and our wish to become millionaires."
These past few weeks has seen the passing of another of the cast (they’re getting old now).
John Challis: Why Serbians have soft spot for late Only Fools actor
If you were an Only Fools and Horses fan or follower, what are your memories (especially if you watched in the former Jugoslavija).
Tamara found a Cookbook.
What we are Watching.
We stumbled on a YouTube channel that is about Azerbaijan (Davids’ done a project with Azeris in the past).
Its totally amazing, educational and just so calming.
That's our update from our village here in the north of Bosnia and Herzegovina for this week.
We hope you'll continue to follow our adventures, and to engage with questions and comments.
We are always so excited when we receive them.
PLEASE, do stay safe wherever you are.
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some call us expats, i so dont fit in the stats. younger gens would tell you fools n horses is just so funny ,nothing to do with socio-economics. generally anything British was always valued greatly at least in the circles i had known in exyu. Even the general director at the RTb1 since the '70 and creator of the most prominent shows remembered by all kids in exyu like Neven ,metla bez drske etc. until the end of his career was a Brit Timothy John Byford
hopes for a quick recovery to you two
Hi David sorry you were ill, please take big care of yourself, not enough rakija maybe ha ha. The Trotters Van is now on a plynth outside a Hotel in Peckham on the main road, lovely sight to see. wishing you both all the best take care