Well, I now know how to post pictures and have posted the blog about our trip to Skopja. I hope it worked like it is supposed to.
This weekend was beautiful with sunshine for two whole days! Unfortunately Charlie was down with a bad cold so we spent the weekend inside. He is feeling a bit better and did go to work this morning. I had a pretty typical day. This city is very European in the sense that you have to go shopping alot. Fortunately for me my trips to Dublin prepared me for this. In general refrigerators over here are very small and they don't use preservatives like we do so you do have to go out quite a bit to keep stocked up. So this morning after I dropped the garbage off at the local dumpster, I went to my favorite store - it's like a bodega in New York or a small 7-Eleven in the US - to pick up a few things. One of the young men at the store speaks English very well and is very friendly and willing to help me. Then I went to the little store in our neighborhood that sells only coffee and got some coffee for espresso. I usually also go to the bakery for bread but didn't today.
We have a great location. Thank goodness we live in the heart of Mitrovica. There are lots of little stores everywhere. We can find just about everything we need within a few blocks. My favorite neighborhood store is just around the corner and sells birds. The owner puts the birds in the window every morning and outside in large cages if the weather is warm. I think they are some kind of small parrot. They are the prettiest birds with brilliant colors. They brighten everything up.
Last Friday we went to Pristina to meet and have dinner with an American woman from the UN. She was very interesting and after living here for 10 years had much great information to share with us. Like a typical newbie I commented about all the garbage and she did offer some enlightenment on that subject. She said that because these people have never really had their own country they may not as yet have developed a sense of ownership and pride. It's also possible that over the years dumping garbage was a way to get back at their oppressors. I was glad she made this observation. It taught me not to view things through my own lens only. There is usually more to anything than meets the eye. It's so easy to be judgemental.
I actually made chicken and dumplings for dinner on Saturday. Somehow accomplishing that made me seem not quite so far from home. It was really good and such a good comfort food for ailing Charlie.
We tried the local kebabs at our favorite restaurant this week. They are pretty bad. They are like a bland meatball only formed like a little sausage. They are served with a spicy sauce - too spicy for me - and accompanied with potatoes.
We are hoping to go to Thessoloniki, Greece this weekend with a group from the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). We just learned about the trip and are late in registering so I hope they let us join them. Thessoloniki is supposed to be very beautiful and is on the Aegean coast. Hopefully it will be lots warmer than it is here. It's been snowing all day and is really cold.
Our landlord stopped by yesterday to tell us he will be cleaning up the yard as soon as the weather warms up. There is a perfect spot for a herb garden so Charlie is getting anxious to get some things planted. It will be fun to come back after Kat's baby and have it be late spring or early summer with grass and flowers instead of mud. I'm looking forward to it.