Most of you (mainly the family, but most of you) know that I love Mary Poppins. Everything about Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way, from chalk masterpieces to dancing penguins. One of my favorite scenes from the movie is the old woman feeding the birds, and one of my favorite songs from the movie is the corresponding score, “Feed the Birds.” Though a lot of times, things, people, and places in my life have taught me empathy, I know that that scene definitely had a hand in my understanding of the world, of empathy, of place and circumstance, and of being kind to pigeons. Usually when I travel, there is always a place I call my “Mary Poppins’ spot.” In Colombia it was the plaza in the center of town. Here, in Old Town, there is an old well, and if there was ever a perfect Mary Poppins Spot in Sarajevo, this is it. Naturally, Arnela and I stopped for photos. They sell feed there and we bought some for one mark (depending on the exchange rate, that’s approximately 60 or 70 cents). Looking at this picture, it’s really not difficult to see why I fall all of the time. Not to worry, however, I righted myself and did not topple. But to be safe (also for a better photo opportunity), I sat on the well. To get the pigeons to follow you, you have to be really careful to do nothing at all. It’s the easiest leadership role I’ve ever had! “Flock like pigeons” makes so much more sense now. (I know all the photos kind of look the same, but bear with me because if you had a lot of pigeon pictures, I’m sure you’d post equally as many). Walking forward, they just kind of part the waters like Moses. I really did think I was going to step on one. I tried to name all of them, because they’re really sweet to have a conversation with, but I couldn’t keep track of them and I ran out of names pretty quickly. But then Arnela taught me that you can have them eat out of your hand, which is perfect for pretending like you’re a Medieval princess practicing her hawking. So naturally I had to try (though I don’t have Arnela’s Disney Princess hair 😉 ) You don’t have to do anything other than stand there with food in your hand before pigeons flock all over you. And it feels really odd- their claws stick into you in more of a scratchy rather than painful way, but they keep coming and crawling and it gets heavier to hold them up, but they look so cute and endearingly at you that you really want to try to accommodate as many as possible. Pigeons don’t care about your photos, either. By this time we had acquainted ourselves nicely. And so we said goodbye to the pigeons.
And experience which we (of course) topped off with gelato from a famed gelato place here, Egipat, which has extraordinarily creamy gelato. Arnela got forest berry and I got Egyptian Vanilla, which was wonderful.