A very pleasant, well-spoken college-age waiter asks what brings me to Croatia. I tell him I read about the war and wanted to see the Balkans for myself. “What did you hear about the war?” he asks. I tell him I don’t really know or understand what happened. He is a bit surprised. It’s simple, he says. Serbia attacked. Croatia was the defender, defending its lands. There was an area Serbia wanted, that had lands where you can grow food. In this area there were some towns with mostly Serbian people, and Serbia said that makes them part of Serbia. He names several towns which were completely destroyed. His father was in this war, he tells me. He placed landmines. He was a pyro-, a pyro-technician, is that what you call it? He is satisfied. The war has been explained. It was simple.

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