Words Without Borders

“I couldn’t find the turnoff on the way down. The bushes make ugly squeaks as they try to sink their claws into the paint, as though they all want to come along for the ride. I manage four hairpin curves, then a pothole I thought I never would get out of. I put the parking brake on and shake the car to be sure it won’t roll away, and I start walking on ahead.


The first ruins poke their heads out from under the luxurious vegetation. If they were part of Zavala, then they were from the fourteenth century. It was not the tooth of time that had chewed them up. I still haven’t gotten my eating schedule figured out–my knees are shaking, and not just from the heat and strain. I walk through lots of patios while searching out grapes, figs, or kiwis, cut through houses, in through the door, out through the window, climb up crumbling steps, struggle ahead through the underbrush by backing up and protecting my face from being tickled by the tips of grasses that are almost as tall as I am.”

Juli Zeh
from Silence Has Its Sound: Travels through Bosnia
Words Without Borders

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