Monday, October 29, 2001

So... it's... Skopje, everyone's favourite city in Macedonia. The city that a couple of weeks ago we were warned not to go to by someone in Dubrovnik because they'd met people who'd arrived there and found themselves in the middle of a gunfight. So we had to check it out then, obviously. Nah, apparently these people turned up at 1am in Skopje and we planned it a little wiser and made it for just after 1pm.

Skopje was certainly not planned though. But unexpectedly I met the girl I'm going to marry in Prishtina, and so we're now travelling together. Simon's gone to Sofia, I believe.

No, no, just joking. No, the damn guy who told us that there was an 11am bus from Prishtina to Sofia turned out to be a filthy, ugly, stinking, fat liar. He can suck my cock, the retarded prick. Nah, I don't hold him any big grudges, but I hope his family are killed in a mortar attack. It meant that our supposed bus to Sofia didn't exist, so we took the next best thing, an 11.30am to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.

First of all, our time in Prishtina. Pretty unexciting actually, but after our chaotic Albania experience that was just what we wanted. We decided to stay over the weekend, not due to any great desire to stay in the city for three days but because we were out of money and needed to wait till Monday for the bank to open. And as it happened anyway, Kosovo isn't yet geared for international money withdrawals so we ended up having to change all our remaining dollars and Simon's pounds to just scrape paying for the hotel and subsequent bus.

So, our second day in Prishtina was spent wandering, and me buying some pirate CDs. Oh man, if only I'd more money and space, I'd have bought hundreds. One pound a CD. We lounged about rather a lot, and in the evening bought a dirt cheap bottle of wine and dirt cheap litre bottle of whisky. The wine lasted seconds, and we valiantly made our way through the whisky. All this was done by candlelight because the electricity supply in Prishtina was highly erractic and cut out for the entire night. So we drowned our sorrows with revolting whisky (but for 4 pounds for a litre, I'm not complaining) and I believe I fell asleep on the floor. Because I certainly woke up on the floor. I suppose Simon might have rolled me off the bed during the night.

What a horrible thought.

Talking of thoughts, in the bus today I suddenly forgot how to think. Seriously, it was really off-putting. I think I was at that point just before dozing, and for some reason I was thinking about a prince (I really don't know why) and suddenly the concept of "orange" burst into my head and got entirely confused with the concept of a "prince" and I found myself utterly baffled, and unable to think properly for at least 2 minutes. I'm ok now though, don't worry.

Ok, that was a bit of a tanget. Our final full day in Prishtina was absolutely uneventful. Really, aside from the electricity going on and off, there is absolutely nothing of any interest that happened that day. I just lazed. EXCEPT...

...I've been the victim of crime. No joking. Admittedly I could be worse off, such as decapitated or have my face burned in an acid attack, but nonetheless I've suffered from a crime. It's a bit of an odd one, I'm still trying to figure it out. But that day I decided to casually flick through my photos. I got them all developed in Kotor and each set came with it's own free little photo album that I put each photo carefully into. So, I went to look at my photos and... a whole set of photos were loose. Packed together neatly, in order, but out of their album. And the album had gone. Eight remained, but the ninth... had vanished. Someone had taken all my photos out an album and taken the album. I'm completely confused. The only possible perpatrator of this crime can be the cleaner at the hotel, because she tidied all our stuff away. And stole my photo album?

Anyway, I think that just about shows you the great excitement that's been had recently. Sop, we're in Skopje now, which has turned out to be really rather pleasant. A cynic might describe it as anonymous but I think I had image of Macedonia being another primal Albania type of territory, but Skopje is pretty and modern and not backwards at all. It even has a MacDonalds which though hardly a commendation, is something that all the countries I've been to recently have lacked. Not that I've gone to it, of course. I've been sampling the local food... a pizza slice from the large shopping mall. Travelling is such a cultural experience.

The hostel is extrmely pleasant too, if a little anti-septic. But I'll take anti-septic when that means clean, warm water, proper toilets, comfortable and not infested with evil.

Is that everything then? Yup. Sofia tomorrow, for a couple of days. I hear there's a very high rate of violent assaults on tourists there.

Just joking mum.

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