Orthodox Easter was a few weeks ago and what a fun few days it was. The festivities started with my students decorating eggs and going on a massive easter egg hunt (which is a tradition they don’t have here). Following that my friend Carly came to visit to join in the traditional festivities. We went to the monastery in Palanka and then circled the Rankovce church three times at midnight. Easter day was full of delicious food and lots of egg cracking fun.
I have had the opportunity of going on a few dates with locals throughout my year and a half here. Dating and relationships are so much different here in Macedonia than they are in America. In an attempt to describe the differences I will reflect upon a few of my first dates here in Macedonia, let me assure you, non of them led to a second date.
When I first arrived to Macedonia I met a man in my training community who took me out to get pizza. He didn’t eat any pizza. He watched me as I awkwardly ate it by myself. He then took me to an abandoned park to try to put his moves on me. That was very short lived.
A few months later there was a man who took me to get coffee and talk in an incredibly loud bar. Following coffee he lead me to an abandoned park and tried to put his moves on me. Sound familiar…? A few weeks later I found out he was married.
A few months after that I went on a date with a nice guy who is friends with another PCV. I met him in the capital and he took me to the mall to get ice cream. I felt like I was in middle school again. As we awkwardly sat in the food court and discussed life.
My most recent date was two days ago. My landlord introduced me to a man who had just come back from working on a cruise ship in America. He took me to a gas station restaurant for coffee, followed by driving me to the middle of no where so he could put his moves on me (which didn’t work at all). Later that night I found out he was engaged.
There is an obvious trend here with shady restaurants and then ending up in abandoned areas. Something tells me my safety and security officer would not approve of me ever dating. For some reason men here think that they just need to buy you coffee and then you are theirs for the taking. I have yet to have a successful date and yet everyone in my village always asks me why I don’t have a boyfriend.
Macedonians believe that almost anything can get you sick, cross breezes, eating ice or ice cream, wet hair, sweat…really anything pleasant. I however do all of the opposites of everything people advise me not to do because I honestly don’t believe cracking the window in a car to get some fresh air is going to get me sick. Unfortunately this year I have gotten sick quite a few times (I’m even sick right now), and every time I get sick I refuse to tell any of my Macedonian friends because I just know they are going to say something along the lines of I told you so.
The first time we crossed the river we took our shoes off and walked through the river on our way back we found a crafty little bridge about 5 feet away from where we originally crossed. I tested it out and it was definitely the most dangerous and unsteady bridge I have ever crossed. Valentina refused to use it and crossed once again the old fashioned way. Who needs fancy bridges I guess.
May 1st is International Workers Day and thus everyone has the day off work to celebrate by having picnics and bbqs. My friend, Valentina and I marched out into the forest (where it began to rain for about 15 minutes), and had ourselves a lovely picnic. I’m pretty sure I only got 4 or 5 bug bites so it was a good day.