A volunteer friend suggested visiting the bazaar in Pristina, so a small group of us went last week. I had no idea there was a bazaar in Pristina!
There was SO MUCH produce for sale, for prices even cheaper than what I can find in my village. (Fifty cents for a carton of strawberries, versus 1.50 Euro in my village.) You can also finds lots of other goods at the bazaar, everything from clothing and yarn, to household items, to cigarettes.
As far as I know, the bazaar is open every week day. You can find it here:
Below are some links to articles I’ve enjoyed about Kosovo (and Albania).
Makeup is a big deal in Kosovo. Women, especially in the larger cities, tend to be much more made up than what I think is typical in the States. I got a kick out of Blonde Gypsy’s look at beauty routines in Pristina.
Heart My Backpack posted some gorgeous photos of Pristina during her trip to Kosovo. It was also fun to read someone else’s take on the city.
I loved visiting Tirana, Albania’s capital city. It’s got a mild, Mediterranean climate, a varied history, and a gorgeous public park. (I previously wrote about its nature, history, and the city today.) So I was super excited when this article popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. It’s a great, one-day itinerary for visiting Tirana.
I don’t cook much in Kosovo, for many reasons. 1) I think it would be rude not to eat with my host family. 2) I don’t like to cook often. 3) My village doesn’t have a grocery store. 4) My host family owns a wood-burning stove, and I have no idea how to use it. However, many of my friends like to cook, so I wanted to link to another recipe for traditional food. (I previously posted some good recipe links in this post.) In the One Day Itinerary article above, Oda was suggested as a good traditional dining spot in Tirana. I ate at Oda during my trip to Tirana and loved it. Fasule, a popular bean dish, was one of the dishes I ordered. I found this blog post (written by a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in Albania) that lists a simple fasule recipe (in English).
“And time goes by And you’ve got a lot to learn, in your life.” — Future Islands, Tin Man
I mentioned in yesterday’s blog post that I have officially completed my first quarter in the Peace Corps! (Counting method is my own.) I thought I’d take some time and reflect on my favorite moments/photos from the last six months. Some of these photos I have previously posted, while others are new.
I spent over a year thinking about Kosovo before I actually moved here. These are: 1) my very first photo of Kosovo and 2) the first photo of me in Kosovo, taken on the balcony of my hotel room.
Processed with MOLDIV
I took the following photo at the end of the most terrifying day of my life. Here is a picture of my pre-service training (PST) bedroom:
I love this photo I took of my sitemates Charlie and Sierra. It is funny to think I didn’t know them well back then.
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I didn’t know what to expect from my first birthday spent in Kosovo, but I am happy to say, my 35th was a happy one. (I suspect my language teacher was responsible for the cake — such a sweet gesture.)
PST is not without its abject misery and heat. It does have its bright moments, too. Here is a picture of me commuting with my sitemates and my language teacher. I really miss these three, and don’t get to see them as often as I’d like anymore.
The summer did not pass without its hedonistic moments. Here are two of my favorite photos, illustrating that:
Here is a picture of my language group, on the day we (finally) got to explore Pristina for the first time.
I got to attend my first Kosovoar wedding. Here I am with one of my PST host brothers:
Teaching for the first time was an intimidating experience, but it turned out to be more fun than I expected. I really like this photo of my co-teachers, Chelsea and Chester.
Our last week of PST was emotionally draining and difficult. But I had fun at the cultural day party/thank you to PST families that Peace Corps hosted.
On my last night with my PST host family, I asked to take a photo with my host parents. My host dad was lying on the couch with a headache, but he got up and put on a dress shirt and nicer pants for the occasion. 🙂
The next day, I swore in as a member of the Peace Corps. I have never been so proud of anything I’ve ever done.
This is the first photo taken of me at my permanent host site, later that same day. It will always remind me that what I had anticipated would be a hard day (I was missing my sister’s wedding back at home) ultimately turned out just fine.
I came across this cool public art display by Swedish artist Samuel Nyholm. After doing some internet research, I discovered he recently presented at a graphic design conference in Pristina.
The one of the man with the moustache is my favorite. It reminds me of my grandfather. I am not entirely sure why. Maybe it’s because he had a funny little moustache when he was younger. And he’s usually dressed well.
I have been traveling back and forth to Pristina recently, mostly for reasons related to the Peace Corps (getting my Kosovo ID, etc.). Anyway, I thought I would write a post about Sach Café, a place I frequent whenever I am in the capital city. Sach is located on Bill Klinton Avenue (yes, that’s how it is spelled), just up the street from the former president’s statue. Sach is an easy pit stop on the way to/from the bus station.
My favorite thing to get is the blended iced coffee. Sach even offers to-go cups (both are fairly rare finds here in Kosovo).
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During a recent phone conversation with my mom, she asked me what Pristina’s “Newborn” sign means.
The “Newborn” sign was revealed on February 17, 2008, the day Kosovo declared its independence as a country. You can read more about that day in this New York Times article.
When it was unveiled, the Newborn sign was painted yellow. Every year on February 17, its design is changed.
I was in Pristina this past Friday and Saturday. There is currently a public art exhibit on display, featuring pictures of individuals beside their stories of the Kosovo war. (My friend made the interesting observation that the stories were only printed in English, and not in Albanian or Serbian.)
I was an 18-year-old living in America when the Kosovo War ended in 1999, and probably had no greater concerns in my life than preparing for college. It is hard to wrap my mind around the stories I have heard here, stories from my friends and colleagues who lived through the war.
You can learn more about the art exhibit here. From Balkan Insight:
“This discovery informed the images [artist Willem Poelstra] shot for his new exhibition ‘For Hanna’, which is on show in Pristina’s Skenderbeu Square until October 17, and features portraits of people from around Kosovo who survived the conflict, seeking to capture images of the country’s everyday post-war reality.”