Saturday, May 28, 2011

Three Month Vacation, Day 1: Skopje

Skopje is crumbling and constructing at the same time. (Like me.) Maybe that's why I like Eastern Europe countries so much.

An onslaught of emotions assault a person embarking on an extended holiday, especially in conjunction with an international move and job erasure. The last month was not fun with daily surprises associated with my move. But less than twenty-four hours from my departure, it all feels to be in the distant past. New horizons beckon, and worries have been lifted.

I arose late and breakfasted with several other hostelers from around the world. A communal feast and travel talk lifts all spirits. Plus, tips from fellow travelers are generally better than any travel book's advice. I felt instantly at home- lifting any residual anxieties I had regarding my choice to travel again for an extended time.

However, I made an error in packing. It's hot and humid, and some of my German clothing are a bit much, so I took a special trip to the post office. Well, two trips- one to find it, and one to mail the clothes. I don't mind going on odd errands as such, because it's usually a cultural experience as well. This was no different.

The woman behind the counter didn't speak English, but several of the people who were there did, and kept helping. One man even came outside and gave me more instructions in his broken English. It was heartwarming. Later when I returned, the counter lady smiled and packed up my things into a small box that she had behind the counter. About $30 later, I was 5lbs lighter, and feeling happy at the experience.

So here I am at day one again, feeling good and ready for the road ahead.

The post office. I could not see it even when it was right in front of me.

Excellent sugar-free coffee. (They just whipped the milk/creme.)

The package to America.

The longest ash ever on that lady.


Dee J. said...

Love the post office story - there are so many lovely people all over the world! Great pictures with crumbles, building cranes and a long ash - wonder if it fell on her shirt?:):)

Sara said...

The package got there fine, but took about 3 weeks, not the 10 days they said. No worries.