Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Really How Much Worse Could It Get?

Traffic has always been a headache in Pristina. Basically think psychotic kamikaze drivers swerving in and out of lanes from behind semi-trucks over laden with dirt or garbage, the frequent slow moving tractor or Kosovo Harley, and the annoying first-day auto school drivers who attempt highway driving after spending an hour behind the wheel and you have a picture of Kosovo traffic.  After independence the Kosovo government started pouring millions of Euros into expanding the roads and many of us though "Yea! Traffic will get better because really how much worse could it get?"  And so we cursed ourselves in thinking that expanding the roads and making them better would somehow ease the pain of driving.  The one-lane frontage roads that are designed for bus stops, slow moving traffic, and visiting businesses has now become a two lane autobahn in which local (and the occasional ill-behaved, inconsiderate jerky international) drivers believe they can pass all the other traffic stuck on the two-lane main road by driving up on the sidewalk despite nearly plowing down any unfortunate pedestrians who might think that they have the right to enjoy the nice new stone sidewalks :oP  So I guess we have our answer to "how much worse can it get" because it can definitely get much, much worse!
So I have to ask (facetiously of course) "Hey, Mr. PM Thaci, how is that 24/7 electricity promise going?"  My friend very smartly responded that there is 24/7 electricity in Kosovo, just not in all locations :o)  Of course the reason why I'm being smart goes back to the promise that Haschim Thaci made during his election campaign that if he got elected that there would be 24/7 power because some professor was smarter than everyone else before him and figured out a way to keep the power on all the time...and of course like most campaign promises it was nothing more than just bullcrap :P  So now as the weather has started cooling off, the power problems are starting to become evident again.  Granted it is not yet very cold (still in the 50-60�F range) but the electricity is going off regularly for an hour since the temperature dropped.  I can't help but wonder how the people in the small villages in the middle of nowhere will fare this winter!

With the reconfiguration it seemed like a good time to collect clothing from people who are leaving the mission so last week I kicked off another "Dj Vegas & Friends Clothing & Toy Drive" to help families in need in Kosovo.  Friends in the Gnjilane region are working on finding families that are in need of assistance and in early November we will go out for distribution. 

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