14 August 2008

Greetings from Kosovo (pt 3)

I love generators. It is true that I do. I could compose and ode truth be told. No no, I'll stop that.

It's true about the generators though. Power cuts in Pristina and I believe throughout Kosovo are pretty common. My office has a huge generator and we're all already shuddering at the thought of trying to move it when we move offices next year. My hotel also, thank goodness, has one. It is freaking hot in Pristina. It was about 93 today (35 C) and will be even hotter (37 C) tomorrow. If there were no AC I don't think I could survive. There's also a lot of water shortages here. I'm lucky being in the city center where, as I understand it, there's almost always water. But the parts of Pristina that are not the center have water cuts around 6PM and towns outside don't have water more often than they have it.

Speaking of my hotel..if you're ever in Pristina I very much recommend where I'm staying. This trip I am staying in the Hotel Real (pronounced Ray-al not Reel as in the opposite of a fake or poser). Staff is super nice, there's cable, modern bathroom, fairly comfortable bed, and a generator. And they make really good coffee at breakfast.

My last trip to Pristina I stayed in the Baci which was much larger than the Real and fancier, but apparently their power has been totally cut because they were stealing it from the power company and got found out. Also there was a bomb there a while ago (while two of my consultants were staying there) so we haven't used it much since.

Pristina's not the prettiest city in the world. The massive amount of people, droughts over the last 5 + years, and construction make it dry and dusty. And it doesn't do the city any favors that Kosovo was already the poorest of the former Yugoslav republics before both the conflict and the recent declaration. I'm liking it though. Good food and drink and Turkish coffee all for low prices. They may operate on the Euro here but unlike everywhere else still have reasonable prices and didn't just exchange the Euro symbol for the currency symbol they left behind.

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