Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Around the Balkans. . .

Eric has a heartfelt post about the Roma and mainstream society in Macedonia:

It suddenly clicked for me that I had never once seen a group of dark-skinned men in any of the modern bars in the center. Moreover, without anyone telling me explicitly, I had already internalized that as normal, trivial. The cultural expectation was so strong that it had been transmitted to me wordlessly: Of course a group of Roma friends would be turned away from a bar in the center. Of course. This is the way it is.

Justin has interesting May Day reflections:

Anyhow, back to my thoughts on life here. It’s as one diplomat I was speaking to recently said to me “it’s as if people here are stuck in the ‘60s, aren’t thinking at all about tomorrow, and are milking what they’ve got for everything it’s worth.” Maybe a bit harsh, but in contrast to the industrious, Midwestern urban America that I grew up in, life and people’s perceptions of what they can do to improve their own and others around them stands in stark contrast to the US.

Chelsi takes a trip to Kosovo:

Whenever I would talk with locals in the street or that the parks and they learned I was an American, some of them would put their hand to their heart or kiss it and say, "yes, we love America and Bill Clinton."

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