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!