Tuesday, September 22, 2009

On The Move, For Real

Day 557

I was up early and after showering and packing up I went downstairs and took full advantage of the free internet. I got a lot of pictures sorted and entries loaded. Eventually I had the receptionist call me a cab and soon I was at the bus station.

I had been assured that the 1 pm bus would be running today. I was lucky to meet German Hanka while boarding. He studied Balkan languages and proved to be really helpful over the next couple of days.

The scenery from the bus was just spectacular. I would have missed it all had I gotten the night bus, but I don’t think I would have complained. At the border I got a Kosovo stamp, which was pretty cool. Some of the towns we stopped in were so poor and in such disrepair that I was reminded of India. Livestock hung out all over the place and partially bombed buildings had been stripped of anything that didn’t support them. Well, I think that some of them were stripped to the point of collapse.

When the bus got to Pristina I was extremely happy that Hanka was there. The station was empty and the level of English was really low. I had been feeling kinda sick on all the mountain roads so when Hanka got some food at the bus station restaurant I just ordered tea. The people working there spoke a bit of German and Hanka’s Albanian helped us order.

We then got in a cab and had them take us to the one hostel in town. We asked for the dormitory and ended up with us being the only two there. The room was split into two, I think part of it was once a balcony that had been enclosed. This gave us both some privacy. The best part was that there was a tv in the room with a lot of channels. After such a long day all I wanted was a beer, but there wasn’t anywhere to go really, so we just picked up some beers and some snacks at a nearby grocery store.

On the way back to the room we passed the computers where a bunch of Poles from Torun were hanging out. Polish happens to be a language that Hanka understands. The group said hello to us and we both responded. When we got back in the room Hanka told me that one of the Poles had said “you can tell she’s American by the way she say’s hello” in a very condescending manner. I had to charge my ipod on the computer and I went down to do that. When the Poles started chatting to me I apologized for offending them with the way in which I said hello. They looked at each other all thinking that I could speak Polish. They stuck to English and had nothing negative to say around me after that.

Even though the day had just been on a bus I was pretty tired. The only thing on tv was Animal Planet so I watched that until I fell asleep.

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