On Tuesday (10/25), we got up and ate breakfast, then went to Jen’s work, where we basically sit on the computer and wait to see if any student will come in and talk to her, but they never have. Then to lunch with Vesna at(you guessed it!) Evergreen! This time I had pasta (it was NASTY!), but out of the meeting I got some homemade jam from Vesna’s family that I can’t wait to eat! Jen has some and it is delicious!
Jen was supposed to have Macedonian class today, but the professor came in and said, why don’t you wait until we spilt the class because there are 50 students in there right now. So we had some free time, which involved Jen meeting with her co-teacher to discuss their teaching plan. At 2pm, Jen had a conversation hour for one of the English classes, so we went back to….can you guess….EVERGREEN! This time just for drinks (still had hot chocolate. And this is not like American hot chocolate, this is literal melted chocolate in a glass that you eat with a spoon. No joke. It just depends on the restaurant where you go which kind you will get- American hot chocolate or European hot chocolate.
We then headed downtown to get pictures for our residency cards! We get residency- since we are now official and they created a whole special category for us in their visa regime. But it involved filling out a form in Macedonian and English and getting two pictures taken, and sending in a scanned copy of our passport page. We had some directions from a few people at the University so off we went! We followed their instructions but didn’t see a photo shop, so we ducked in this little store and asked this lady where the other store was. She told us in Macedonian and then when I nodded, she was all English? (the thing is I had understood her directions and knew where to go, but it was nice). Then she took us outside and walked us part of the way to the store. When we got there I said, “pictures for residency card (lechna karta)?” and we pulled out the form we had ready. He nods and tells us to go sit down as he get fancy camera out. Then he takes a few pictures of each of us, and said they would be ready in 30 minutes. We decide to go back to the nice lady and buy something from her store because we were hungry. I got (what I thought was a jelly filled) doughnut and juice and Jen got some pizza snacks and juice. We went to sit by the river and ended up sitting by Saturn. They have one of those “see how far apart the planets are” displays, complete with missing planets. Nope, not joking, there was a stick for the planets to go on, but no planets! As I was looking over it I discovered something interesting.
In Macedonia, there are 10 planets!
Not only do they still count Pluto, but they also count Ceres, the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. We didn’t know that at the time and were intrigued by the concept of 10 planets. We both decided that we wanted a t-shirt that says “When I was your ago, Pluto was a planet!”
We went back to the store with the pictures and picked up our 6 pictures, we had asked for 2, but 6 works just as well and all for only 150 MKD! Then I called LOJA, the NGO I was meeting with to let them know we were coming. He agreed to meet with us and bring us to the specific office, since it was apparently difficult to describe. He was the only one in the office at the time to give people time off since they had to come back for the German Film Fest that night. We talked for about 1.5 hours and then left so he could go to dinner with the German Ambassador/consulate general. We wandered out a different way and found GLOVES!!!!
Then we went to dinner at a semi-fancy restaurant where I had delicious pasta with gorgonzola and what they called “pizza bread.” We have no idea what it is made with, but it is delicious! So yummy! After killing time eating here, we decided to get coffee/hot chocolate. We then went to the store to buy popcorn! It comes pre-popped and only cost 29 MKD for like two full bags of microwave popcorn.
After our shopping experience we went back to LOJA to watch the German Film Fest show. It was in German and subtitled in Albanian and Macedonia. The Macedonian covered the English, but not all the time, so sometimes we could get a glimpse of the English before we only saw languages we weren’t fluent in. I think I got about 50% of the movie. It was about this Turkish family that immigrates to Germany, lives their life there and then goes back to visit Turkey when the young man (now grandpa) buys a house there. Jen and I could totally relate to the walking into a store and trying to get bread and milk and NOT speaking the language at all. Sadly the grandpa dies in the end, and the house was just the front entry and not the rest of the house. There was a moral of the story, but it falls into the 50% I did not understand! They had a small reception afterwards with food and juice before we headed back to the dorm to go to sleep!
*If you want more information about my NGO visits, you should check out my Research Blog: MK Civil Society Civil Discourse.*