Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving

I was able to find a frozen turkey in one of the local supermarkets but I won't have the chance to cook it for a couple of weeks.  Maybe I'll try to do a traditional holiday dinner with my friends before traveling home for Christmas.  For me, Thanksgiving was always a time to spend with friends and I'm feeling a little down today to be so far away from the comforts of home.  But in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am thankful to have the opportunity to come to Kosovo and to have met the wonderful people here...all the people.

I had lunch with two of my girlfriends today.  The restaurant was full but I was able to grab the last table upstairs.  A few minutes after sitting down, I got a message that my friends were sitting downstairs in the restaurant.  I told them that I was upstairs and they came up, not very happy with the situation and I understand why.  They arrived a couple minutes before I did and when they asked for the table for three, they were directed downstairs even though the table was free in the corner where I was seated.  They were told the table was reserved.  When I arrived, I was shown to the table by the waiters immediately...and I had not reserved the table.  Why did I get the table and they were banished to the basement? 

Well, my girlfriends are from Kosovo, the label "local" or "national" is applied to them, and I am an international.  I have more money and blah, blah, blah with all the stereotypes of why the internationals are somehow better than people from Kosovo.  All I have to say is "what a crock of bull$hit."  I don't understand how a person can classify themselves as superior to another person based on the fact that they are from another country.  I often have asked myself how a person from a war-ravaged African country can think they are better than a Kosovar because there is a UN-mission here when there is also a UN-mission in their country.  How does a passport make you superior?  In the end, it is just a bunch of pieces of paper bound together by glue.  The true spirit and essence of the nature of the person lies within their heart, not their nationality.  The worth of a person is not based on where they are from but their actions and behavior to their fellow man...the contents of their soul. 

I often find myself annoyed at the behavior of expatriates in Kosovo towards the Kosovars.  I especially annoys me when I hear people talking about how they don't care about the problems and are only here for the money.  If they took a moment to look at the situation...looked into the eyes of the children begging for money on the streets...maybe they would start caring.  But too often, people miss the details of their surroundings.  Kosovo and her people are beautiful and special.  I'm glad that I am here.