Macedon-iversary: Two Years

Last Wednesday marked two years since the MAK 19 group landed in Skopje, stumbled out of the airport and tried to fight the jet lag long enough to collect our luggage.

In keeping with my tradition of a completely new format for every Macedon-iversary post (whoops), these are a few of are things I wish I could quantify about my experience here (one for every month in Macedonia so far).

1. Cups of Turkish coffee (easily over 1,000)

2. Kilos of Ajvar consumed (not over 1,000, sadly)

3. Bus rides

4. Street animals I’ve fallen in love with (answer: all of them)

5. Cookie cakes baked (maybe 15? 20?)

6. Baked goods I’ve transported on a bus (enough that the bus station ladies just laugh and ask, “Who is it for this time?”)

7. Number of time I called the bus station to check a time (Including those two or three call in a row times because did she say two or nine?)

8. Number of calls to the bus station before the ladies decided I was more adorable than annoying

9. Number of times I’ve heard “Hello teacher!” walking around the village (thousands, and it melts my heart every time)

10. Number of times I’ve been asked about my marital status

11. Number of times I’ve been told to find a Macedonian husband

12. Number of times I’ve rolled my eyes at 10 and 11

13. Number of times I’ve appalled people asking 10 and 11 with a ridiculous answer about wanting to be a free bird, just looking for a summer fling, or saying ajvar is the only lover I’ll ever need

14. Number of times I’ve smiled and pretended to understand something in Macedonian

15. Number of times I’ve surprised someone by actually understanding something in Macedonian

16. Number of times I’ve wished I hadn’t understood something I heard in Macedonian

17. Number of times someone’s tried to talk me into giving up being a vegetarian because the meat in Macedonian is so beautiful

18. Number of high fives from students (definitely thousands)

19. Number of hugs and cheek kisses (the standard greeting is three cheek kisses)

20. Number of times I’ve been asked to solve a computer/phone tech problem because I speak English (related: I’ve solved zero of these problems)

21. Books read (maybe 150-ish? See also: bus rides)

22. The number of times I’ve been called Rachel, and the number of times my sitemate Rachel has been called Rebekah. (Sitemate probz.)

23. Number of times I’ve been woken up by animal noises (roosters, pigs squealing, dogs fighting, cat jamborees, host nephews listening to Old McDonald on YouTube, etc.)

24. Number of times I’ve googled recipe substitutions for the things I can’t find in Macedonia (or how many grams is in a cup again?)

There have been good days, bad days, terrible days, and amazing days. For me, the good easily outweighs the bad, and somehow, I’m not sure when, Macedonia became home. They told us in our first week that the time was going to fly. I probably loled. (But I can’t say for sure because I don’t even remember that first week anymore.) And they were right. It’s so crazy that it’s been two years already! Leleeee. I have four more months of my Macedonian home and I plan to savor every day.

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