sábado, 5 de febrero de 2011

Kosovo Journal

I am visiting Kosovo for work. I came 4 days ago to Mitrovica North, that means, I am in a part of the country that does not really belongs to it, not either to Serbia, although they only speak Serbian and use their currency. For a stranger and someone who doesn’t really know a lot about the Balkan’s background it’s really difficult to understand this whole issue. In other words, I’m struggling to get the complete picture in my mind and understand why Kosovo Serbs don’t feel save going to the South, and why they can’t live in peace together. It’s really hard to understand how ethnicity can influence people’s behavior like that, already for centuries and centuries. Well, leaving aside this whole history, I must say Mitrovica is a nice city. It’s nothing to compare with Western Europe. Instead it makes me think in my home town in Colombia, Tunja and the towns around. The huge holes on the streets, the zebra spot only for decoration, the bus stop used as shelter for the cars, the pathways as parking places, and the people walking in the middle of the street, and many times, just standing there having a chat. I know sounds a chaos, but you get some how use to it.

The weather now is cold, you can see it for the stalactites on the water tubes in front of the buildings, or in the gas stations where they threaten you to fell down any minute. However, the cold sensation is not that bad, maybe because I’m already use to Holland and its humidity or most probably, because I’m most of the time inside in the offices or the hotel, where the heating is reaching the 40 degrees. I’ve never felt so warm in my life during the winter!!!

The food is also something remarkable. I’ve been in East Europe before, and I already knew the food is nice and you normally get big portions for quite low prices. Kosovo exceeds all of them. For less than 8E you can get a huge plate (beef/chicken/turkey… ) that so far I’ve not been able to finish one completely (not at least in only one attempt). Yesterday, for example, we shared one plate with two other girls, and we just couldn’t eat more than half of it.

Social life looks pretty much fun around here, locals and internationals get along well together and you can find a relax atmosphere easily, not to mention parties and good beer (Lav is the one that I’ve been drinking the most)

Well, to sum up my experience so far: Nice people (although serious faces), nice food (in my office they bring food every day as well), huge portions at dinner, good music (although in my hotel a bit repetitive), pretty mountains around, old monasteries (that I only know for references), and most of all, nice colleagues to share my experience in this country, so far away from my land, but so close also in many other aspects.

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