Sunday, October 17, 2010
You begin to realize shortly after getting here how much you consume and how unnecessary some of it is. One of the things that amuses me is how to invent uses for common things. For example, plastic water bottles. They are just starting to recycle plastic here, but it isn't widespread and you do have a work some to find plastic recycling bins in big cities - forget about villages. But you find plastic everywhere - Coke and other soda producers have definitely had a huge impact on Macedonian beverage selection. When I walk along the Vardar, there are places where the tree roots have reached out and caught islands of plastic bottles. Interestingly, the Roma are the big recyclers here - they do go around and gather bottles to make money. But anyway, I like to find a variety of ways to reuse plastic bottles. So far I use them to store water (we distill water here - Gostivar's water supply was breached last spring), for a hot water bottle (indispensable in the winter), a sprinkling bottle for ironing (who needs a spray bottle - just poke some holes in a bottle cap), an exercise ball (I developed plantar fasciitis and use the bottle with water in it instead of a tennis ball to exercise my foot), and, of course, a plant watering can. I never realized they were so golden!! Mail me your uses - I'm sure there are more I'm not thinking about.
It's pepper season here. Peppers are a huge staple for people in Macedonia. They roast them and can different recipes of slow cooked peppers. The main dish is called ajvar - the peppers are cooked over an outdoor bbq for hours. There are more kinds of peppers here than you can imagine - the bazaar is a red, green, yellow, pink rainbow of pepper colors and shapes. The main one, though is the red pepper above, which is also often dried for winter use. People use all kinds of nooks and crannies to hang their peppers, and it adds extra color to the city.
I also love the brooms they use here. The one above was being used by a street cleaner. Ah, twig technology - when you need a new one, just go out and collect twigs.
Finally I included a picture of the big hero of Albania - Shkenderbej - not sure of the correct spelling. Does he look like a big Viking or what?
Went to a week of seminars on tourism. It's interesting to hear about all the new trends - ecotourism, adventure tourism, rural tourism, agrotourism, and my favorite, integrated relational tourism. The last refers to tourism where you stay in a small venue, like a b&b or a family, and get to know the area, people and culture. Our lecturer was a professor from Malta, and now I'm dying to go to Malta and Sicily!
Posted by Candice Wiggum at 1:50 AM