|We are in Tuzla now. The trip here was interesting. The woman who sold us the tickets yesterday had taken our Eurail passes, and we thought she was just checking if they were valid in Croatia (which they are not). When she gave them back to us with our tickets, we assumed that the tickets were for the entire trip. They were not. She had thought that we were going to use our passes for the Italy part, so she sold us tickets for only the segments of the trip through Slovakia and Croatia. So, when the conductor came around and checked our tickets, we were surprised to find out that they were not valid for the Italy section of the trip. After some discussion, we decided that we would use our Eurail passes for the 1.5 hours until we got to Slovakia, when our tickets would be valid. Why she did that, I'm not sure. I can't see why anyone would want to use an entire day of travel for an hour and a half, but maybe she was confused. Who knows. Anyway, the rest of the trip was uneventful. For the last 20 minutes we were a little bit concerned that we had missed Zagreb and were instead going to Budapest, but it turned out that we hadn't missed it, and when the train stopped I saw Amer standing there waiting for us. It was really nice to see him again, and we had a nice time talking and catching up on the ride to his house. Getting through customs wasn't bad, either, and the guys there didn't give Amer too much of a hassle. It is much more built up that it was the last time I was there. The houses are finished and there are many more of them. The businesses are larger and look like they are taking in more money. The Arizona Market (an open air market that sells everything from home appliances to sex slaves) on the way to Tuzla is huge now. Instead of having little huts, shops are now located in buildings and it has sort-of turned into its own little town.
Once we got to Tuzla we drove Amer's friend Sasha home, then went straight to Amer's house. It was so nice to see his family again. His mother was there with dinner on the table. Metza (Amer's sister-in-law) was there, too, and while I recognized her from the last time we had met, she had no idea who I was. It was strange because I thought we had at least spent enough time together to remember each other. Anyway, Amer's mother is doing well. She looks much better than the last time I saw her. His father is good, too, and we had a nice time seeing each other again. Melissa and I were pretty tired, though, so we went to bed early. All this traveling is tiring.
Today we drove around Tuzla showing Melissa the city. We walked around in the cemetery for the victims of the grenade attack in the middle of the city. There is a new lake at the foot of the largest hill in town, and in the summer I guess it is completely filled with people. Amer says it smells like sulphur, and even in the winter we could smell it a little bit. It looks nice, though, and the city is really coming along economically. We walked around downtown for a little while, too, but it was cold, and we were tired of walking around. So, on the way home Amer stopped and rented some movies, and when we got back to the house, Amina (Amer's neice) was there. We played with her for a while, and after dinner we played makeup with her. She is beautiful and will definitely be a heart breaker when she grows up. Amer spoke with Ivana (his girlfriend), too, and we planned on driving to pick her and her friend up tomorrow and then drive straight to Dubrovnik. It should be fun, but I think it's a pretty long ride. I guess we'll find out.