07 / 01 / 2014



Dear Naya,

In Sarajevo, on January 1st 1885, you could for the first time buy a red ticket entitling you in German, Turkish and Serbo-Croat to ride on the tram. The line had been built as a test to see whether this state-of-the-art transport would work in Vienna and the rest of the empire. Its green carriages were pulled by horses and the conductor was obliged by company rules to be dressed in a proper manner and not to smell of alcohol or garlic.

In the frozen air, the crowds pressed forward to catch a glimpse of the ‘Green Dragon’ and a lucky 28 of them became its first passengers. As the driver rang his bell and the tram rode off, 28 pairs of slippers were left behind on the pavement. Bosnian custom is to remove shoes when indoors, and those entering the pristine new tram had shown it the same respect due to a home.