Today is one of those days where the words to that old song "Big bad Billy..." something-rather keeps playing in my head...the line I'm thinking of is where he says "why's everyone always pickin' on me?" I decided to go check out a new "Etc" hipermarket that opened near Admin HQ this afternoon after lunch. The market looked huge and is huge on the inside. The location is complete with an Agora Pizzaria, probably a branch of the one that's next to Bella Vista downtown and hopefully serves up the same delicious pizzas! But there was nothing really special about the market that distinguishes itself from all the other hipermarkets. I think I'll actually stick to shopping at Era Citymarket because they still have one of the best selections of veggies and the butcher is decent (although I do still find myself going out to InterEx sometimes just for the meat!)
The weird thing that happened at Etc. is that they do not allow women to carry in their handbags. I had to surrender my bag to the the "purse police" at the entrance...of course, removing wallet, cell phone, radio, and appointment book (basically everything that was in the bag!) before handing it over to be locked up by the attendant. But as I saw, not a single lady in the market was allowed to take their handbag into the store. I can foresee that causing some problems...I know that I won't be going back because of it...I don't want to have to take everything I need from my bag and hand it over every time I need to go buy toilet paper!
The second thing that happened was that I had the misfortune of being kicked out of the American PX at Film City by two Italian MSU MPs. Before today, there was never a problem with being an American and shopping in the PX...but for some reason there were MPs (who evidently have nothing better to do than check IDs in the PXs!) kicking people out. Fortunately a friend was able to purchase the ranch dressing and batteries I needed (I'd die without my ranch!) before we retreated with our tails between our legs. Guess I won't be going back there either! Things are a-changing...guess there isn't the same sort of American camaraderie there used to be now that we're getting kicked out of our national PXs!
I've heard some rumors (and I do qualify the below statements as being rumors...not fact set in stone!) about UNMIK getting kicked out of the PXs. One is that the new chief of staff, an American up at Film City, wants to yank any access that us civilians (say that with as much contempt as possible!) may have had in the past. The other rumor is the reason why we were supposedly kicked out of Bondsteel after the change-over. I heard that two Americans from Ferizaj went to Bondsteel around Thanksgiving and started cleaning off the shelves when the PX wasn't expecting a shipment for a couple more days. The staff at the PX supposedly told the guys that they had to put stuff back and then the attitude came out. If this is true, personally I'd like to find out who these two guys were and pay them a nice little visit to express my appreciation for screwing things up for all the other Americans in Kosovo! We've had the privilege of being able to shop down at Bondsteel for the past 5 1/2 years that I've been in Kosovo but it only takes two inconsiderate, stupid jerks to mess things up for 300 other people who just want Pepsi and Tostitos! :oP