Strange Times in Skopje

Jeton Musliu

It was hard, stressful but exciting. I still can’t believe the Fellowship Programme is going to end very soon. It started in May, and I thought it was going to be a very long year until October, the time we expect our stories to be published. Surprise! October has just arrived!

Meeting the editor:
Honestly, meeting Marcus Tanner, our editor, in Skopje, discussing our stories again, didn’t seem such a good idea to me... especially now when we have all these possibilities to communicate easily with each other on the Internet, the telephone, and so on.

But after the trip to Skopje, I realized I’d been wrong. It was useful talking to Marcus face to face, explaining some of the things which where unclear in my article. In fact, I always try to be as simple as possible when I write my articles, but in this case, Marcus made it so simple, which was really great.
I had to travel to Skopje on Saturday. There I found a very strange hotel. I never saw a hotel situated only on the sixth floor…but in Skopje, this is something usual! By the way, next morning it was even stranger…. all the guests had to go down, out of the hotel, to a café bar to eat breakfast. You didn’t need to worry what to eat. On the menu were three types of food, all of course with eggs.  Anyway, it was OK, staying just one or two nights there.
The last time I was in Skopje was in May 2009. I like this city. It’s not so big, but also not the smallest one either. People are friendly and stores are not allowed to take euros…. strange!

Each time I go there, I find strange things. For example, in 2009, it was strange to see that one side of the river Vardar was maintained very well, with flowers, paths for people to walk on and so on… completely in contrast with the opposite side of the river!

Now the situation is a bit better. But this time, I found another strange thing… the main square of the city. They’ve put four big statues of lions on the two sides of the main bridge… but the lions are not the same. They have also started to build huge new buildings in Antique style [in the year 2010]… which were also strange for me. I found that this is all part of a government plan called “Skopje 2014”.

In Skopje, I met a friend who explained some of the details about this plan. According to him, the most unacceptable part of the plan is to create a beach on both sides of Vardar River!
Back to my own strange city:
On Sunday evening I had to travel back to Prishtina. Well, in Prishtina you can also find a lot of strange things. I won’t start counting them, or you’ll get a headache.

Closing my update, I really hope to see all of you in Vienna.


Fellow Bio


Jeton Musliu

Jeton Musliu a journalist based in Pristina, currently works on the domestic news desk for the daily Kosovan newspaper Express. He has published numerous investigative articles on topics ranging from corruption, justice, security and terrorism.


Topic 2010: Taboo

Taboos change – rapidly. Homosexuality was once a taboo in Western Europe, as was “living in sin”, [i.e. outside marriage], abortion, childlessness, physical disabilities, atheism and suicide


07 Oct 2010 / 12:33

It was good to talk

Marcus Tanner
06 Oct 2010 / 10:20

Strange Times in Skopje

Jeton Musliu
01 Sep 2010 / 11:20

Completing the B Ring

Mircea Dan Opris
23 Aug 2010 / 13:35

Ten Intros later...

Jeton Musliu
16 Aug 2010 / 16:23

My last stop

Georgiana Ilie
13 Aug 2010 / 10:09

The hardest thing in my research

Majlinda Aliu
02 Aug 2010 / 10:20

Two months of silence, so much info

Mircea Dan Opris
27 Jul 2010 / 14:54

Now is the time to write

Jeton Musliu
16 Jul 2010 / 11:13

Heat Follows Me Everywhere, Even to London

Mila Popova