Kosova 1, part 4
Our time in the guest house, while cozy, came to an end. We found lodging in a mini-hotel a few streets down from the church. The bad thing was that it cost more money than the guest house and while breakfast was free, we had no fridgerator to store food in like we did at the guest house. We moved in easily, since we still had not received our luggage (our Macedonian friends were keeping contact with the airport for us), and settled into our rooms. I roomed with the youngest girls—2 college freshmen (Jessica and Stacey). The weird thing about our view was that it looked out on the remains of a bombed building. We were told it was a communications tower used by Slobodon Milosevic and the serbs in Belgrade, therefore the UN eliminated it to keep Pristina safe.
Breakfast was interesting. While in an Albanian-speaking country, the hotel was run by Germans—just one more language to learn. We finally learned the German meanings for what we wanted (though I will never like Turkish coffee again).
Showers were also different. Now you find out about the bottles of water at the guest house. Water and electricity are sketchy in Pristina, perhaps all of Kosova. With no mail or phone at the time, we really shouldn’t have been surprised. They would come on and go off at will, and we had no way of knowing when they would come on again. So when the water was on, we were told to make sure that the bottles of water (2 liters mostly) were full of water, just in case you wanted to take a shower and didn’t care about the temperature of the water. The bad thing about the electricity going out was that the heat would disappear and we had to carry flashlights with us everywhere because of the streetlights going out at night. But at our new place of residence, we had almost real showers, enough to feel better.
As far as eating was concerned, we ate out most of the time. Sometimes we went grocery shopping for non-refrigerated items to keep in our rooms to snack on. At night we ate out—mostly at a café around the corner that served pretty decent Italian food according to my great-grandmother’s genes. A few times, we went out to eat while the power was out—hard to order cooked meat that way, but we did ok. One thing that amused me was their definition of salad. We ordered salad even though we’d been told not to back in the states because we’d only had one round of Hepatitis A vaccine and weren’t protected from it yet. Salad in Kosova was cut tomatoes and cucumber with oil and vinegar on them. Huh. But when we did go out, we would usually have someone from the church with us, and therefore be there for hours talking. It was fun.
Then came the days where people in our group got the flu. Steve and his son got it first. The Mike’s son. Carlos, Paul, Kelly and Connie. Just about everyone got it. I started getting sick the day before Christmas Eve. Luckily, my doctor had given me some meds just in case (I get chronic bronchitis). Then the best thing happened—we got our luggage. It was so great to put on fresh clothes!!! Better than a shopping spree