Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Drive-by Shootings

This past Saturday night, two Serbs were killed in a drive-by shooting in Strpce.  Another two were injured.  There is a current of nervousness passing through the offices in the UN because it was almost the same sort of incidents that set-off the deadly riots in March 2004.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Certain Smell in the Air

There comes a certain time in the year when the farmers in Kosovo begin to burn the fields.  It is a strange sight where I live to go out on your balcony and see the night illuminated with the fierce orangish-red color of fire.  Last week the fields behind my house were burning so I had to keep the doors and windows closed on that side of the house.  The scent is not the most pleasant and while I can't remember ever seeing the ranchers burn the fields in the US, I suppose there is a certain chemical benefit to having the ash fertilize the soil.  Actually, I imagine that burning fields is prohibited in most places because of the air pollution it produces.  For a few weeks, the clean air I so love where I live will be hazy and thick with the scent of burning crops.
I drove a colleague to Prizren yesterday to the German KFOR hospital.  A trip that should take 1 1/2 hours took 2 1/2 hours due to overloaded trucks and three traffic accidents on our side of the road.  The area between Shtime and Prizren is mountainous and the road winds quite a bit...the impatient drivers cannot handle being stuck on a one-lane road behind a slow moving truck so driving can be dangerous when they attempt to overtake.  Seeing beyond a curve isn't a necessity to some of the drivers...I guess they imagine anyone coming the other way will stop for them if they see them coming...not realizing that it takes time to slow a vehicle!

Monday, August 1, 2005

Bucket o' Fun

It's that time of year again...bucket shower days in the dog days of summer.  I actually couldn't even get a good bucket shower this morning at home and had to shower in the bathrooms at work.  I think the cleaning ladies got a kick out of that and I know the guys in my office do because they tease me about it :-P  But se la vie, when the farmers near Gracanica need to irrigate their fields, I have to do without water or enough pressure.  Perhaps one of these days they will separate the residential water supply from the agriculture supply...but I doubt that I will still be here when that happens.
The power is being regulated four on-two off in my area.  I heard that KEK is going to start regulating power based on the payment of individual bills.  So if you pay more than 55% of your monthly power bill, you will not have power cuts.  If you pay between 25-55%, you will have five on-one off.  If you don't pay or pay up to 25%, you will have four on- two off.  Of course, I still have never received a power bill and I again heard that Serbia is sending power to Kosovo for some of the Serbian areas...but I doubt that Gracanica is included in that list because of its location.