If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

At least you have a picture of me. And you keep that old Ecce Homo painting it has been in our family for generations. What about the Barony? Lost? Since when? And the house? And the property? What are we doing in only a few rooms in this strange building? Why are you talking with such a strange accent? Why can’t I understand your children? Where are we? Why can’t I see the sea from the walls of the city?

Two World Wars and long years of emigration later, my great-grandfather would feel completely lost.  His picture, the Ecce Homo and a room full of books would be the only familiar things he would find at our home. The barony is history. After decades of communist regime there is no trace of the house and the property.  We no longer live in his beloved Kotor (now in Montenegro) but in a little apartment in Pamplona, Spain. The younger generations are Spanish. We would need to translate constantly to maintain a conversation, but we are already used to it.

I guess he would be surprised to learn I’m a journalist and all the women of the family are working out of home.  Each one, except my older sister and me, in different cities. And also to see the men helping with the house chores at the end of the dinner.

About my younger nephew appareance (he wears dreadlocks) I guess he would think that young people never change. They always are looking for something different. Even when he was alive.

I suppose  he would be very interested in the wonders of modern life, above all in our machines and gadgets, as almost all in my family are. It must be in our genes.

A shocking and interesting visit.
Modern Families.


Author: Olga Brajnović

Journalist and writer. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Author of a biography. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

9 thoughts on “History

    1. Olga Brajnović says:

      Yes. A complicated history over there. Since my great-grandfather died my father’s town has been in four different States after three wars.

        1. Olga Brajnović says:

          It is. But somehow we and our family over there survived.


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