Standing Fast

The day has arrived to stand fast per our Safety and Security Manager’s instructions. So that is exactly what I am doing. I am not permitted to leave the house all day. I am to not step foot outside the door. I know he is being cautious and I appreciate the concern for my safety but it feels like  house arrest. I am sure there will be people who will opt to ignore his instructions and probably will not be caught. I prefer to remain on the safe side. This is his country and he knows what is best for all  of us.

Why today? Well, there is a massive demonstration planned for downtown Skopje this afternoon. They are anticipating 70,000 people. No one is sure what will happen. But at the minimum they are sure bus service will be disrupted. There is a huge police  presence downtown but the demonstrators have pledged to having a peaceful demonstration. What will it accomplish? Probably nothing. But at least the people have the right to demonstrate and that is very powerful.

Taco night last night. A couple of us went to Jess’s place and had tacos. On the way there we stopped at the пазар and  bought a kilo of strawberries. Cost? 100 denars or less than two dollars. (If our house arrest is lifted next weekend, I will be down there buying some nice fresh veggies to make some salads for my warm weather meals.) I had authentic extra sharp cheddar cheese to contribute to the festivities. It was a really lovely evening that even had a Roma serenade in the middle of it. However, serenade sounds like the music should be beautiful. This was cacophonous!

I have been exploring music of the Balkans and some  of it is quite beautiful. Some of it isn’t! Two of my current favorite artists are Bośko Jović and Božo Vrećo. Bośko is a classically trained guitarist and plays a song that sings to my soul called Macedonia Song. Božo sings Sevdah and my favorite one is Lejlija. This is an amazing area of the world and I am so thankful that I get to live here and discover all these incredible treasures. (And yes, I love these artists so much that I have purchased their work).   Click on the song titles for a sample from each artist. (and yeah, having my two favorite artists have the names Bośko and Božo is kind of funny.)

So now to figure out– what movies shall I watch during my enforced confinement……..maybe some Bond, James Bond.

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A 60 something woman who has run off to faraway places with the Peace Corps.

6 thoughts on “Standing Fast”

  1. Demonstrations….that can be scarey. I would follow the advice and stay inside too. Hopefully it will be peaceful and all will be well.
    The Macedonean Song does speak to the soul. You can tell he’s had classical training. I definitely like it.
    Leslie’s has a haunting chant like quality. The video with is was strange. But if I had just been listening the melody was moving. What do the words say?

    1. Sevdah music is a longing for love and is somewhat akin to the Portuguese Fados. Although there is nothing even remotely similar in sound, they both have that feeling for lost love. I am still working on the words. I can pick a few out but I believe he is singing in Serbian. But his music reminds me of another group I like: Gregorian. They take modern music and make it chant like. Check them out. They are all over YouTube. Yes, the video is strange but then anymore many of them make no sense.

      We have been given permission to go back to work today but must be home by 5 PM. There is another demonstration tonight and many of yesterday’s demonstrators are still downtown. They are vowing to remain until Grueski steps down. Today’s demonstration is being arranged by the incumbents. So there is the potential for a clash. Stay tuned.

  2. Really like both artists. Have always loved classical guitar.

    Hoping the demonstrations stay peaceful. 70,000 is about 25% of Skopje’s population. That is a significant number for the opposition.

    1. News reports said 20,000 were out on Sunday, but peaceful. Let’s hope Monday is as well. Demonstrators are both Albanian and Macedonian showing the protests are not ethnic and that people are united in this struggle.

      1. Since the event in Kumanovo last weekend, everyone has made a point of telling the world this is not an ethnic issue. I certainly hope the US media is not reporting that it might be. It is a political issue impacting ALL the people in Macedonia. No one really expects any type of ethnic violence as we move through this phase of development of a national identity and fair and just governmental agencies. They are making a very visible point of working together….flying flags together, going to coffee houses together and even embracing each other.

        1. Really nothing in the U.S. Media about the protests. The world media emphasized that the protesters come from all ethnic groups and that there were both Macedonian and Albanian flags showing that the opposition comes from all corners. However the coverage of the counter protest said the pro-government demonstrators had Serbian as well as Macedonian flags, which perhaps sends an different message. Sounds like everything was peaceful though. That is a good sign, I suppose.

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