Happy birthday, stric Matic!

Today celebrates my fun-loving uncle.

Once upon a time my uncle heard the Bosnian band Zabranjeno pušenje and was so pleased with its sarcasm and especially “Zenica blues” that it is now included in his standard repertoire.

I made him two tapes with their music. We went to hear them in concert in Tivoli hall in Ljubljana and there he was approached by a security man and asked to put out his cigarette, even though this was years before the restriction law. Funny that, considering that Zabranjeno pušenje means No smoking. When many years later uncle sold me his belladonna ford, the tapes were still in it.

The album of the band that includes “Zenica blues” is called Das ist Walter. The intro is taken from the partisan film “Walter Defends Sarajevo”. It’s a dialogue between two Germans overlooking the city.

Merkwürdig! Seit ich in Sarajevo bin, suche ich Walter und finde ihn nicht. Und jetzt, wo ich gehen muss, weiss ich wer er ist.

– Sie wissen wer Walter ist?! Sagen Sie mir sofort seinen Namen!

– Ich werde ihn Ihnen zeigen… Sehen Sie diese Stadt? Das ist Walter!

In short, the hero Walter, who the Germans are desperately trying to get hold of, is the entire city of Sarajevo.

For some years now, “Das ist Walter” is also a restaurant in Ljubljana (with branches in some other cities) serving Bosnian meat delicacies such as ćevapčići. Even though we had mighty fun the last time we were there with their Italian menu (“prava bosanska čorba”, real Bosnian stew, became “lawyer’s stew”, because “pravo” also means “law” and google translate was at work), but that’s all good because not only čevapčiči are great but also uncle is in love with their beer. And for an expert like him that says a lot.

And here is another Bosnian band, Dubioza kolektiv, that probably he doesn’t know yet. They say that Walter will be back. And when he comes, he’ll be pissed off. No matter how he might look. 😀

Ovaj grad, ova zemlja = This town, this country
ima zajeban karakter = has a messed up character
najviše kad treba = when we need him most
vratiće se Walter = Walter will return

Happy birthday, Matic, and I wish you many more Walters just when you need them!

Photo: MM

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