Friday, March 20, 2009

UNMIK National Staff go on strike

The national staff of UNMIK went on strike today at 0930 hours CET to protest against decisions taken by NY HQ in regards to contracts and termination indemnity for staff who have chosen to remain working with UNMIK rather than leave for other jobs.  The idea is to protest until NY rescinds its decision and agrees to grant longer contracts with an option for indemnity should UNMIK decide to terminate the contract earlier than expected.

I nearly forgot to mention the opening of a new restaurant in downtown Pristina – Sushi Bar (044 218 998, Old Cactus Bar, near the Grand Hotel).  Due to differences, the cook from Tokyo and one of the waiters have moved on and opened their own restaurant downtown which is quickly becoming a favorite place for sushi.  During the weekends, there is open mic karaoke.  The food is excellent (try the salmon!) and we are keeping our fingers crossed that their sake supply will come in soon!  I have updated my Restaurant Guide with the new information and some additional phone numbers I’ve picked up.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Time Flies!

Wow, it’s hard to believe that nearly a month has passed since I last wrote.  I am reminded now of the saying “the more things change the more they stay the same”.  UNMIK continues to downsize while EULEX is operating in police & justice…yet nothing really feels different…people are just wearing different uniforms and there are more flats with “For Rent” signs than usual.  With the downsizing of UNMIK, rumors are many about the fate of the employees.  A protest over the extension of contracts may occur later today or tomorrow on behalf of the UNMIK national staff.

The power situation has been great other than the fact that I discovered my landlady trying to save money by switching off the fuses in my flat after I left for work every day.  How much she thought she was saving by turning off my refrigerator, hot water heater, and one heater each day I have no idea!!!  I finally got fed up and had a discussion with her son explaining that I’ve noticed that the power in my flat was going off every day at approximately the same time and I was aware there were no power outages at the time.  Miraculously the next day there was no planned outage in my flat ;)

In sad news, I saw a report that an eight-year-old boy was attacked and killed by a pack of wild dogs earlier this week near Kamenica.  This is not the first time that a child has been killed by dogs in Kosovo and with the huge number of strays I am sure that it won’t be the last.  Of course, those wanting to assist with the stray dog issue can contact the Kosovo Animal Shelter (email or by telephone at +377 44 126 439 or +377 44 199 061) to donate time, food, and funds!

The weather continues to be winter-like with small snowstorms every few days.  That means I get more time to enjoy snowboarding in Brezovica with my friends so you won’t hear many complaints from this snow-bunny!

MTCowgirl’s Kosovo News