--Monday, 17 July 00--
Just after noon, Smile walked into my office. I asked him if he wanted
to go to lunch and he said yes. We went to the Napoli which is over the
Centrum. They have a very good thin crust pizza and don't mind changing
the ingredients at your request. I got a four cheese pizza with peppers
and smoked beef. Smile got the same thing.
At night I visited Smile, Halil and Sahdik and we chatted. Smile introduced
me to an expat police officer who works at the BPK. There was something
odd about the guy. Smile told me that the officer, who was married with
four kids, had developed an attachment to a woman whose apartment balcony
he could see from his apartment. He never talked to her and he now announced
to Smile that it was all over. Smile told me that the guy had asked Smile
in front of Kimeta if Smile could find him a woman. Then he told Kimeta
that she looked like the woman on the balcony. That made Kimeta mad. Smile
said that the guy was crazy. Does he say that about me?
A time exposure of pay loaders and trucks cleaning a pile of debris
from outside my apartment.
The electricity was off at the time.
--Tuesday, 18 July 00--
Smile had arranged to meet me outside the CFA building at 7:30 PM. He
told me that a friend of his had opened a restaurant near there and we
would go and eat there. I met him on time and he told me that he had spent
the whole day at his school so he had to go home to tell Kimeta that he
was going out with me.
We walked to his house and found Kimeta outside. When he walked up to
her she said "Hi" to me and then put her hands on Smile's throat
and said, not completely seriously, "I will kill you!" Smile
laughed in his boyish way and said, "No, no." He told her that
we were going to his friend's place and we said goodbye.
We walked to the Rio Restaurant which is near but off Mother Theresa.
It is a small indoor restaurant with a large patio covered in white canvas.
It is quite nice and, surrounded as it is by apartment buildings, fairly
quiet. The menu consists of a variety of pizzas, several sandwiches and
small, medium and large salads. Oddly, the last pizza ingredients list
mentions "sausage of the house" which, upon inquiry turns out
to be pepperoni! This is the fourth restaurant I have found that has pepperoni.
There is hope.
Smile was nervous. When we sat down, he put a pack of cigarettes on the
table. He doesn't usually smoke but when he is worried, he seems to need
the diversion. We ordered pizza and once again I noticed that he ordered
the exact same thing that I did. I find that very odd.
--Wednesday, 19 July 00--
Went to visit Smile at work and he was with his brother in a car somewhere.
He showed up in about 15 minutes. I would say that discussions are underway
about Smile's plan to build a very small house for him and Kimeta.
--Friday, 21 July 00--
Thuy, Phil and I visited Besnik's brother's apartment which is at the
south end of the city (close to that tall, decorative chimney near the
traffic circle). The large apartment comes with a two car garage and has
a foyer and five rooms consisting of a large combined living room-dining
room, a small bedroom with a double bed, a bedroom with twin bed, a small
room filled with couches and armchairs, and a two person kitchen. The
living room has a large veranda with a partial overhang that shelters
a couch, table, rugs, etc. and the bedroom has a smaller veranda on the
other side. The apartment is fully furnished, almost over furnished. If
it weren't for the fact it is so far from the center, I would be a great
place to stay.
Wherever I have been, renting furnished apartments is a horror: the furniture
is usually clunky and in bad taste and usually there is too much of it.
Most apartments seem to come with too many frilly doodads and too few
electric outlets. The decorations incline to the sentimental and flowery
(large pix of children with big eyes) and tend to be gaudy and lack functionality.
The apartment Besnik showed us had few of these problems which made it
Tonight I went to see Smile, Halil and Sahdik but Smile was not present.
Halil told me that Smile's father and brother were visiting. He went and
told Smile that I was there and Smile came down and soon I was in Smile's
apartment greeting his father and brother. They were eating so I felt
embarrassed at interrupting. Smile lead me into the living room and stayed
with me. Shortly afterwards his brother came in and shortly after his
father. We talked and Smile translated, and was very proud to do so.
His father was most affectionate with me. He put his arm over my shoulder
and put his cheek on mine, a sign of high affection. I pressed my cheek
against his and thanked him. He told me how proud he was that I had visited
his home and I said that I was privileged to do so.
Smile's brother asked that I would come to his school so that his students
would meet me. The important foreigner. I said I would.
--Saturday, 22 July 00--
Several of us had lunch at the Renaissance cafe which was new to us. When
we asked for a menu the 12-year old boy who was running the place said,
"I am the menu," and told us some of the things they served.
We still had to ask questions to order but the food turned out to be good.
--Sunday, 23 July 00--
I awoke to no electricity. Walked to the Supreme PX and bought some golf
shirts. Walked to Kukri and had a pretty decent cheeseburger.
I went over to Smile's apartment and found Smile just after his shave.
He and Kimeta had breakfast and then Smile walked me over to look at a
nearby apartment. The owner was not there so we didn't get to see it.
Outside, Smile told me that he might come by to see this afternoon me
but if not, I should visit him at work this evening. I told him, "No.
You only say that when you know you won't visit, so I won't come by. Today
is Sunday and I want to relax and go to bed early."
Getting ready to begin another week in Prishtina.