Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Life at the Speed of Several WTFs a Minute

Traffic in Pristina is always a popular subject to blog about even more so after the declaration of independence when the Kosovo government promptly ripped up all major roads and brought traffic to a grinding, bumpy halt in all directions.  The newest WTF moment occurred on the Monday morning commute to work for most people.

The two-lane bridge to Mitrovica has been closed and is due to be tore down.  With Bill Clinton Boulevard ripped up and down to two lanes and all the traffic being diverted into that mess, most people who travel the 5-7kms to work were stuck in traffic for nearly two hours on Monday morning leading to a collective WTF moment for most of the international community.  Evidentally traffic planning does not exist or is not a particularly strong suit for the Ministry of Transportation.  In addition to the closure of the Mitrovica highway bridge, roadblocks have been placed on one of the roads forcing all traffic from downtown to divert into the road construction on Bill Clinton Boulevard and all traffic coming from FKP (Fushe Kosova/o Polje) to also divert into the nightmare!

Besides the impossible traffic situation, I had a WTF moment today when I read that the “Brotherhood and Unity” Monument near the Kosovo Government Building has been selected to be destroyed and replaced with a moment and square dedicated to Kosovo Albanian hero Adem Jashari!  The “Brotherhood and Unity” monument was dedicated in 1961 and is commonly referred to by the internationals as the “Fork Monument” as the three pillars representing Serb, Albanian, and Montenegrian peoples.  It seems that history or cultural preservation is not a consideration for the Kosovo government which has also approved a move to tear down the historic Union Hotel to pave way for a square dedicated to Ibrahim Rugova…a mere two-three blocks from the “Brotherhood and Unity” monument.