Monday, 4 October 2010

Makedonija Part 5

Bitola Day 2

At 13.00 I'm supposed to meet R. another EVS volunteer, at the Clock Tower in Bitola. At the fountain I walk past a group of youngsters who appear to be preparing for some kind of performance. I'm intrigued, but walk on to meet R. When I do, he tells me he is supposed to meet some other volunteers at the fountain. So we go back and check out this thing. Turns out to be a youth exchange on Dance. Around 40 youngsters from 8 different countries in Europe were together in Struga for 10 days to exchange practices on dance. They were giving their final performances that day. I stay around and watch them perform. Twice. They were not bad. Especially the two Albanian break dancers get a lot of cheers.

After the performance the organizer. S. starts to talk to me. He asks what I'm doing there. I say I'm an EVS volunteer and just happened to be there. He asks what my plans are next. I say I don't have any. He asks if I want to come to Struga with them. I'm like...hmmm...He's like, you can catch a free ride with us on the bus. You can sleep in the hotel. And you get food. I'm like, where's the bus?

So, I hop on the bus with these youngsters. Talk some more with S. He is an interesting guy. Actually, he works for Volunteers Centre Skopje. The NGO who has an interesting project I ALMOST chose. I didn't in the end. Do I regret my choice? Hmmm...Good question. I mean I'm pleased with my choice of Belgrade, but meeting these people makes me think I would have easily fit right in Skopje as well...

In the lobby of the hotel I meet a guy. Looks like Paul McCartney. Macedonian by birth. But he lived and studied in Belgium for ten years. He is all excited he gets to practice his Flemish with me. He plays guitar and sings. He says he's got a surprise for me. He starts playing Abel's "Onderweg". Didn't expect this. It's one of my all time favourite songs. Actually one of the few Dutch songs I like. He sang it so well. It gives me flashbacks. So many memories.

That evening S., Paul McCartney and I share conversation and red wine. A few bottles of it. It was good.

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