Where Mother Teresa Comes From

Trip Start Jun 28, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
City Hostel

Flag of Macedonia  ,
Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Walking through the bazaar and hearing the Muslim call to prayer for the first time, I realized that Macedonia was the first significantly foreign feeling place I had been yet. Looking out over the city you see minarets dotting the skyline and you get the sense of Macedonia's history and culture.

Since being a great empire under Alexander the Great, Macedonia has basically been kicked around between the Ottomans, Greeks, Bulgarians and Serbians. I gathered this the first night listening to the Macedonian hostel owner debate a know it all British man and Italian kid about the history and problems of his country. This was my introduction to Yugoslavia, which I've been trying to get a grasp on the past week. It's clear Macedonians don't like Greeks and vice versa. It's also clear that Macedonians look back on Tito and Yugoslavia as the good old days. You get the feeling that it was a time when they were part of something bigger and much more prosperous. They had Yugoslavian passports and could travel anywhere. I heard this several times in two days. Talking to shop keepers they would just bring it up out of the blue.  This is in contrast to some Croatian guests who said they never considered themselves as Yugoslavians. Along with Slovenia, they had the means to stand on their own. These differences were the basis for the wars of the 1990s.

According to the Macedonian hostel owner, the issues of the region would never subside and the EU will be dealing with it forever. Since I got to Skopje, I've been trying to get an understanding of this whole conflict. When it was going on, I either did not pay good attention or the media did a poor job of presenting it or both.
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Eddie on

This is deep, heavy, real stuff. What you are learning from this travel will change the way you look at the world for the rest of your life. It is incredible you had the oppurtunity to do this Mike. Soak it in!

tstigers on

I agree, very insightful posts. I did know about the different aspects of Yugoslavia since my visit to Dbravenick, but it was not from a Macendonian perspective. Very cool! So in the end it really sounds like the have and have nots....

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