Our friendship with Alumni of BiH business scholars, how it all started
Once upon the time, or on May 10 2013, Nina Mazgan introduced us to Aldin Celovic as a Vice President of Cotrugli Alumni in Bosnia, and a one of the future founders of MBA Bosnia Association.
We exchanged few emails, shared some ideas and introduced our future activities regarding “MBA friends” company, joined their LinkedIn group (Alumni of BiH business scholars) and after few days, we “invited” ourselves for a weekend in June for rafting (which was in the end canceled due to the bad weather forecast, and adrenaline park was organized instead).
I knew that I would find someone who would join me on this trip. As usual, Marko Banović couldn’t resist a temptation to join me on a new adventure.
The three of us (Marko Banović, Matija Budič and me) started the trip on Friday from Ljubljana and picked up Marko Bucalović in Zagreb. In addition, he was not waiting for us alone, he had with him, as usual, his homemade “medicine” (rakija) and you could feel that all the bacteria in the car died after opening the bottle.
With Balkan melancholic music (once more we concluded that all they are singing about are women and the booze) and the “medicine” in our bloodstream… well if you are from this region, there is no need for further explanation of the situation…
Entering Bosnia, we left the highway and fast driving. Time and driving slowed down. The wheatear was April-like, showers and sunny. We admired Bosnian green hills and many rivers, well not really crystal blue and clean but still beautiful.
Finally, we reached few kilometers of highway before entering the capital city. After few misses, we finally found our hotel. The hotel was on the hill with not really attractive surrounding, but the hospitality of the personnel made us feel we are in the 5 star (or more) hotel! They helped us with parking, gave us all the tips we needed to know about the hotel and offered us a welcome drink (read: the “medicine”). They even carried our luggage to our rooms, which was super nice (especially for me, the godfather of the group, who had the biggest and nicest suitcase, while all others had “working” type). There we met with other MBA friend Zvonko Čuljat and his wife.
On our way to the restaurant “Zelena Dolina” we had an enlightening taxi ride. If you are searching the answers to your biggest life issues, you should just ask a taxi driver, they have all the answers! We learned many stuff from our taxi driver!
Matija B. came to the restaurant with his friend from Ljubljana who has in Sarajevo his own business and I could not believe my eyes when I saw him! “I know you from somewhere?” I said, and he replied, “Of course, your son is going with my son together in kindergarten!”. Small world, we laughed.
In the restaurant, musicians played and sang live traditional Balkan songs. The atmosphere was relaxing and friendly. The food was excellent.
From left: Marko Banović and Željka Šulc
The highlight of the evening was when Željka Šulc came. With her openness and friendliness, she charmed Marko Banović so he ran around her like a majordomo. When the lady with the red roses came, after few jokes Marko got the roses from Željka. That was the first this guy got a red rose, and it happened in Bosnia! Thanks God we have cameras so we could document it.
From left: Marko Bucalović, Ivan Vučetić, Arnesa Omeragić and Belma Mujadinović
Later we continued to party in the city center, our hosts were very friendly and we really enjoyed their company. I even danced once (:. On departure, while waiting for a taxi I tried to tell some joke, but I blew it up and I jeopardized my reputation as a nice and funny guy. Girls were disappointed and expected to hear a better joke from me to compensate my failure but I couldn’t find any.