Glenn CoCo…Sveti Nikole.
Peace Corps staff told us that pre-service training would feel like kindergarten. They were right.
It also reminds me of Mean Girls.
“I’m on an all-carb diet.”
Bread, or леб, is offered with every meal. The meal might be pasta and potatoes, but there is always bread on the side. Sometimes bread is the meal. My host sister and I had chocolate crema on slices of white bread for dinner one night. (And yes, it was delicious.) I’ve had a mini loaf of bread for breakfast. And this is only the beginning. I have a feeling this eating style will lead to, “I just want to lose three pounds.”
“That is so fetch.”
This is how I feel whenever I speak Macedonian. I’m trying to make it happen. (Trying really hard, so back off Regina.) It’s still new and sometimes I get weird looks, like when I said I needed to peach Macedonian instead of practice Macedonian. (Spoiler alert: I’m not going to stop trying to make Macedonian happen.)
“On Wednesdays, we wear pink.”
Substitute pink for track suits. They’re not just for Friday in Macedonia. Everyone has one here and I want one in a terrible way. It’s acceptable fashion for men and women. I can’t wait to wear one and sit wherever I want in the cafeteria.
Damian: Oh, my God! I love this song!
Janis: I hate this song.
Cady: I *know* this song!
My host dad listens to a lot of Serbian music. I don’t know enough Macedonian to understand most of the songs I’ve heard on the radio. There has been more western music than I anticipated so far. I heard Rihanna in a grocery store my first week. A café we stop at for coffee after class in Sveti plays music via youtube videos on a laptop they have plugged in behind the counter. I’ve heard a lot of familiar songs, but I get excited every time.
“She asked me how to spell orange.”
You know what Karen, spelling orange is hard. In Macedonian, it’s портокал.
“Watch out please! Fresh meat coming through!”
No matter how much we blend or don’t, when our group of loud, giggling Americans walks through town, people notice. It may be that they hear us speaking English. It may be that we’re a group of adults in backpacks and Toms. Maybe it’s just because we’re really, really, ridiculously good-looking. (Sorry. Wrong movie.)
We were told during orientation week that people would stare. I notice it most when I walk alone. Men driving on motorbikes have turned around while driving by to keep looking. It can be the same when they walk by. It’s worse when I’m running. Other times, they look past me as if I’m not even there. I’m new. I’m American. I’m a woman. Getting used to it will be an adjustment.
Chip Heron: This is your lunch, OK? I put a dollar in there so you can buy some milk; you can ask one of the big kids where to do that.
Betsy Heron: Do you remember your phone number? I wrote it down for you just in case. Put it in your pocket, I don’t want you to lose it. OK? You ready?
If my host parents spoke English, this is what they would sound like. They make all my meals. They wash my clothes. They check my homework. They ask about my friends.
Except I still don’t know my phone number.