Thursday, November 6, 2008

What I see on a normal day in Prishtina

Each morning I wake up and I try to jump in the shower. I say try, because that depends on whether or not there is water. Sometimes it does not turn on or the water is cold. Actually, it is pretty predictable when the water will go out (at night and comes back on around 6am and then from noon until 5pm), but when the electricity goes out you never know for how long or when it will happen. Luckily, I have heard from all the internationals that it is not that bad this year, but the locals also say that is because it is not that cold outside yet, so not everyone is turning on their heaters.

So I prepare for work and usually join my husband on our walk to work each morning. We have tried a few different routes to get to work, and have found one that seems to have the least amount of traffic. Unfortunately it is not the prettiest route. Actually they are all ugly, because litter is a major issue in this city. So I am constantly looking at a view of garbage around my feet. Most mornings I walk by faces I have never seen before, but there is one girl who always crosses by path. She walks the opposite way, but I always see her and wonder what her routine must be. From 7:30 until 4:00pm I am required to be at school, but like many teachers I sometimes leave during my planning break to get a tea at a close-by cafe.

After work we usually walk home and try to figure out what we will make for dinner or if we will go out to eat. At home, I would never eat out as much, but it is fairly cheap here and there is not much else to do at night. In the evening local vender's set up shop on every street corner selling roasted chestnuts. We usually buy a paper cone for one euro. It is always a nice snack that I enjoyed at Christmas time, but now I get to eat everyday if I want!

Traffic is crazy here. Even though you are supposed to take a driving course, most drivers have decided not to follow the rules. They stop for lights, but that is about it. It can be scary to cross the street. I have even found out that my 8th grade students driver their parents car and when the cops stop them they do not get in trouble (that's because their families are wealthy in a corrupt way so the cops leave them alone). It is a common occurrence to see cars speeding down side roads, with pedestrians walking along the side. Or passing cars at any time, even on one lane roads with solid lines. We are thinking about renting a car this weekend, which might be a scary experience.

It is almost like a caste system in this society and servers are treated like crap. People will yell at them to hurry up! And no one knows how to make a line. I have seen them try to cut lines in the airport and at stores. So many differences that really make me appreciate what I have at home.


Amanda said...

So, I can't believe you are living in Kosovo. Sounds like a great adventure, but how the heck did that happen?

Travelin' Tracy said...

Amanda- Joe and I decided that we wanted to teach overseas...something that has been a dream for me. Anyhow, we went to an overseas teaching job fair and decided to accept this job. Basically it looked like a good location for the ability to be able to travel, plus the pay was really good.

It has been a bit of a struggle, especially for my husband, but we are making it work. I have to admit though, it is quite the adventure as we adjust to such a very different lifestyle. I am making some great friends though.

Update in February

One might think that having several snow days would give me the time to write in my blog, but I have been spending a lot of time working on ...