Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Kosovo: Day-to-Day Living, Chapter 2 Scene 1


 I’ve had many friends and family members ask about my day-to-day life in Kosovo. All I can say is that life here is basically the same as it is in the States. You get up, get ready for work, eat breakfast and head out the door. After work, you make your way home, figure out what you’ll eat for dinner, relax a bit and crash. Sound familiar?

The mosque across from my apartment.
Of course there are a few minor differences for me. For example, my apartment is across the street from a mosque. It isn’t quite completed yet, but in use. There are advantages to living so close to the mosque. (And no matter where you live in Prishtina you are close to a mosque.) The one advantage I readily recognize is that I don’t need to set an alarm clock. The morning call to prayer that is broadcast over a speaker system for the neighborhood usually wakes me up between 5:15 and 5:30 am. Perfect.

Another advantage is that since this particular mosque is in the “being built” stage, it serves as a landmark.  All I have to say is, “You know where they’re building that new mosque in Matiqan?” (pronounced mah-tee-chaun) That’s how people find my place.

Need I say more?
My balcony overlooks the city. I have the best sunsets in the region. Well, I think so, anyway. The balcony also serves as my dryer. Most places here have washers but few people have dryers. I hang my clothes out on a handy-dandy drying rack that folds up neatly and stores in my laundry area. The air here is dry and there always seems to be a breeze so the clothes dry quickly.

My meals? I usually have an egg for breakfast with some fruit. Pretty much the same as I always do. Of course here the eggs are fresh from the farm and the fruits are freshly picked daily as well.

These horses make a daily trip by my apartment.
I frequently stop at the little market near me on my way home and pick up a few items such as a fresh baked loaf of bread for twenty-five cents or some peaches and vine ripened tomatoes. I’m told that while the fruits and vegetable are grown around here, when winter comes the fresh produce is shipped in from Greece or Turkey. “Shipped in” is a relative term when I think of the oranges Ohioans get from Florida and California. Actually, from Kosovo you can get to the southernmost part of Greece in less time than it takes to drive from Cincinnati to the citrus groves in Arcadia, Florida.

I do make it to one of the larger stores from time-to time. The big stores, like those I’m used to in the States, have a wide selection of canned goods and packaged foods. I’m not always sure about what I’m buying but I’ve learned that the cheese with the picture of the man on it is much better than the cheese with the picture of the woman on it.

The road to my school.
And if all else fails, there are a ton of restaurants around. Curiously enough, it is cheaper to eat out than to cook at home. Go figure.

My commute home from school is pretty much the same as anywhere else. Except for the part where I have to walk the dirt road from the school to the bus stop. That’s only because a new road is being built. And of course I ride a city bus to get to my apartment. And there is the occasional cow in my front yard getting into the trash or eating the shrubs. Of course there's the horse-drawn wagon making its way daily up the road beside my building. But other than that, it’s the same old, same old.


Yep, life in Kosovo is not so different than life at home. The truth is this: The people here are friendly, kind, and generous. They love Americans. The city is beautiful and boasts great shops and restaurants. Life is good here and only different enough to make it interesting.

Join me as I travel to Kosova (the Albanian pronunciation for Kosovo) in Southeastern Europe. Each week I’ll share my experiences. Leave your comments and questions below. I’ll try to address each as best I can.


16 comments:

  1. The cheese with the man vs. the cheese with the woman really made me laugh! So glad this is a positive adventure for you! Thank you again for taking us with you on the journey!!!!!

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    1. I'm glad to have you along, Holly!

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    2. Love the cheese with the man on it...we call it Monk Cheese. I am going to get a couple to take home with me. Love your observations! You sure learn to be more flexible here.

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    3. Thank you! I'm glad you stopped by the post. And yes, flexibility is the name of the game!

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  2. Lina Weinewuth September 27 at 4:28 PM

    Sounds like you are having a lovely time. I am so happy for you! I love following your journey!!

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    1. Thank you, Lina! It is certainly a great experience.

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  3. Love this and the pictures! I love the casual cow grazing out front. Yep, same old same old. Love it! Keep posting the fun pictures so we feel like we're there with you!

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    1. Thank you, Kendall! I am enjoying sharing my experience. I only wish you WERE here with me!

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  4. "Oh the places you'll go.." And you are there, Becky!! Love the word pictures that you paint!
    Sue riebel

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    1. Thank you, Sue! I'm so glad you are "with me" on this journey! And I love it when people leave comments!

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  5. We call the cheese with the man on it the Monk cheese. I have instructed Mark that, that is the ONLY kind of cheese to get. We are one of the fortunate ones to have a dryer. When Isabella was a baby we found it necessary to have one and got it super cheap. However we only use it once and awhile as we are fine with hanging our clothes out to dry.

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    1. Oh, Celeste! So glad you stopped by! And yes, I believe the man is a Monk!

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  6. I lived in Ireland for 3 years. No dryer for the first two years. And Ireland is cold and wet. Mostly had clothes spread around the house on the radiators. Enjoy your time and all you will learn as well as teach.

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    1. Praising God for good weather! It may be cold in the winter here, but it is at least dry!

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  7. So fun! Those walks and sunsets and fresh bread with new friends and kind neighbors sound wonderful. I used to sit on my balcony in central Europe and watch the sunset...and say, "How blessed I am to get to live here!" Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I know I am blessed...and honored to be here. I am so glad you are with me on this journey, Bethany! I treasure you!

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Leave your comments here. I look forward to hearing from you.