This city is a very social city and especially on these summer nights you'll find people crowded around the outdoor tables in the numerous coffee-bars around town enjoying their drinks, conversations and the (sometimes) cooler late evening temps. In fact, there's a whole strip of restaurants and coffee-bars nestled under huge shady trees along the Vardar river where the Povardarska breeze (like the Deltra Breeze of the Sacramento valley) can temper the hot summer nights. There is also at least one coffee-bar that appeals to young families as it has a huge playroom for the kids... and serves a wonderful macchiato and relaxing ambiance for the parents.
My language teacher once commented to me that the coffee-bars tend to have English names and over the years I've noticed the trend. Names like "Hemingway," "Light," "Green House," and "Soho." Sometimes I do wonder at the names given, though, like "Bummerang" and "Pub Porta." Is it just me or does it just not seem right to go sit and have a coffee at the Porta Pub??
:::::Language lesson alert:::::
There is also a bookstore cafe called, "Magor Books." Now for those English speakers, that would be pronounced "major" but here it's spelled with a "g" because in Macedonian that's what makes the "dzuh" sound. The "j" here is pronounced like our "y" or "yuh." Confused yet? Well, lets put that principle to work on the cities name, Skopje. How do you think it's pronounced? Is it Skop-gee (with a short "o") or Skopyeah (with a long "o"). It's the later. No worries, though, until I came here I was pronouncing it the first way as well. ;)
Ahhh. Now I'm ready to jump into the books. :)
Speaking of coffee, ordering a coffee here is not as complicated as in the US. Here there is one size, only a handful of choices and shared space (meaning no lines). A friend in Paraguay blogged quite eloquently about her recent re-entry experience in the US and the "simple" task of ordering a coffee. Judging by the number of comments there's a lot of us who can relate! :) [She's a great blogger to, so I thought I'd share.] :)
Thank you again for walking with me as we live this call together.
Day 16: $46.51 and counting.