Dreams & Plans

|||| From Jonas Magnusson

A lot happened in 1991-1992. The Soviet Union broke up, The Baltic states gained independence, Yugoslavia went to war. I noticed, but I did not reflect much upon the historical significance of the events. I was too busy in Holland and Denmark,  Strasbourg, Brussels and Milano. So many dreams going on and plans being made.

But there is one moment that sticks to my mind, nineteen years ago, at the very end of the programme. We were all about to leave Denmark, promising each other to meet, at the same time knowing that some of us would probably never see each other again. Sofija, Vladan and Vladimir from Yugoslavia were travelling by train from Aarhus and some of us were at the station to wave them goodbye.

I was already looking forward to a vacation and European Cup in football which was played in my Swedish home town. At the platform in Aarhus I said some optimistic words, hoping that all would be all right, good luck etc. But for them, usually very cheerful and quick to joke, it was clear that the fun was over. I was the man with the lucky passport and I could not really understand their worries.

The years to come we met under far more gloomy circumstances. The war raging in Sarajevo, hyperinflation and food shortages in Belgrade. My Yugoslav friends went in different directions – one working for the opposition press, another for the government, the third leaving the country and going into exile.

As it turned out, me and Sofija from Croatia, ended up in the same place. We both lived several years in Prague, I spent a lot of time with Sofija and her husband.

Today we still see each other, we spend vacations together, watch our kids play. Unlike nineteen years ago, we today share more or less similar plans, dreams and worries. And the evening at the platform remains a sad and beautiful memory.