Friday, January 4, 2008

Speed Racer

I expected a response this morning when I floored the accelerator but again this year the UN is plagued with low-quality diesel problems (water in the diesel freezes & clogs the filter).  You would think that the lesson was learnt last year when the temperatures dropped into the double-digit negatives but rather it seems that it would take a ton of bricks falling from a considerable height in order for the point to get through that they need to make sure that they switch to higher quality fuel during the cold winter months.  Compared to many of the other UN vehicles on the streets I was Speed Racer as I passed them going a whopping 40kph!  Man, I was flying with my accelerator pushed to the floor and my engine revving up to an impressive 1500rpms (Yippee).  It basically took forever to get out to TSS as all the local traffic passed and gave me a dirty looks for going so slow :)
Besides having difficulty with the fuel, I don't think anyone has come to plow my street for more than a week now.  I did see a snowplow at the bottom of Dragodan earlier this week but I guess with all the snow they haven't had enough time or people to take care of all the heavily used roads in Pristina.  It can and is fairly interesting to nearly slide down one of the hills in Dragodan sideways in a 4-wheel drive due to the slick build-up of snow and ice :)

It's again time to do the waddle walk!  The waddle walk is an art form that I have mastered since arriving in Kosovo and is performed ritually every winter.  It consists of waddling much like a duck when you walk on the sidewalks in an effort not to lose your balance and fall on front of everyone.  The concept of shoveling the sidewalks in front of businesses or on main pedestrian areas is unknown to Kosovars so you end up trudging (sorry, waddling!) through the built-up dirty slush-snow.  Crossing the street is also interesting as vehicles in one lane will often stop to let you pass and when the guy in the other lane tries whipping by (and you freeze like a deer in the headlights) he ends up sliding to a stop mere meters away from you (thank goodness for anti-lock brakes I guess!)