An American in Kosovo, Part 5

Remember when you were a kid, and it was sooo annoying when an adult would guess your age or grade, and low ball you? And you were like, “Ugh, I’m TEN! How can they think I’m nine?”

Well, a while back, I was at a neighbor’s house and they mentioned their daughter’s birthday was coming up. I looked at her and asked, “How old are you going to be? Twelve?” And she said, “Sixteen.”

***

There is a teacher at my school who greets me by saying, “Miredita, Amerikan.” (Good day, American.)

***

This is an old story, but I haven’t shared it yet.

I attended my host brother’s wedding last July. I had only lived in Kosovo for six weeks then, and was still feeling conspicuous and awkward. The female guestsย were beautifully dressed, and they would change their outfits throughout the reception. (Imagine being at a wedding where Cher is also in attendance. Now multiple that by 100.)

Everyone began circle dancing. I was trying to work up the nerve to join in. Seated at my long, nearly empty table was a woman I came to call (in my mind) The Beautiful Blonde Mermaid. Excuse the title, but I never caught her name. She was 1) beautiful 2) blonde and 3) had wavy, cascading hair, like a mermaid. I got the sense that she, like me, is a bit reserved, and not sure if she wanted to dance. But then she rose from the table, took me by the hand, and led me out to the dance floor. It was like, “I don’t want to do this, and you don’t want to do this, so let’s do it together.” It was an act of kindness I will remember.

Other funny stories:

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