Wanna get high in Mostar?
How about, like, 23 metres high?
Then join us on the last Sunday of every July for the Old Bridge diving competition in Mostar, the town in Bosnia-Herzegovina where Soonfeed was born. We’ll be posting LIVE on Facebook so you can be there when it happens, no matter where in the world you are.
The bridge and me
I might be an Australian living in Brussels, but Mostar is my spiritual home. Spiritual because I want to throw up in my mouth a little whenever I’m there. Not always in a bad way though.
In 1986 I crossed the Old Bridge for the first time while visiting the old country with my then-Yugoslav father. In 1993 I watched, from a cosy couch in Melbourne, as the bridge was obliterated by war. By 2002 I got weary of the cosy couch and migrated to Mostar as an OSCE press officer.
It was in 2004 that I spotted, from my flat above a gyno clinic near the bridge, a washing machine floating down the Neretva River. This was a few weeks before the official opening of the reconstructed Old Bridge, and Prince Charles was going to be there for God’s sake. So I enlisted volunteers to remove 7 trucks of rubbish from the river. We never found the washing machine.
In 2006, on my last day with the OSCE, I planted a Ginkgo Biloba tree with a little ceremony in the City Park. It was dedicated to the late Dr. Zlatko Hrvic, a man who’d introduced me to the wonders of the Ginkgo, and of Mostar itself . The city mayor gifted me a paper weight during the ceremony. “We would have gotten you something bigger,” he said, “had you not been such a pain in my arse.”
In 2007 I returned to Mostar, this time to jump from the bridge for the first time. It didn’t hurt at all. The following year I jumped from the bridge again. That time it hurt a bit. But we set a world record for the most people chanting the word “subsidiarity”.
When Soonfeed was born
In 2011 the concept of Soonfeed “beforetime” media was born. Not in a Silicon Valley garage, but in a question posed to me on a Mostar river bank. “Why,” a local friend mused, “isn’t there something like a TV guide for the web?”