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Macedonia

 
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ntropy



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 668
Location: ghurba

PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2003 2:38 pm    Post subject: Macedonia Reply with quote

I've checked here and in the Job Discussion forum but see very little on Macedonia anywhere.

For those now there or recently, what's the general situation like re: living conditions, cost of living, etc?

Obliged
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been_there



Joined: 28 Oct 2003
Posts: 284
Location: 127.0.0.1

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm in Kosovo, but I went to Skopje two weeks ago for a conference and it's not bad (remember that I'm in Kosovo). It has a few historic buildings that weren't destroyed by the earthquake (the old train station), a lot of communist architecture, a nice river flowing through the middle of it, some western shops (none in my neck of the woods) and peanut butter. I can't find peanut butter in Kosovo.

As for the cost of living: they use the Drachme, about 60 to the Euro (which you can use with cabbies, but not at corporate shops), and things are less than the US prices, but a bit more than where I am now.
A cab ride from the center of town all the way out to the top of the mountain (about 20 minutes) where our hotel was was 150 Drachme. Full meal at a decent restaraunt (no drinks, we WERE working) was 90 Drachme.

I hope someone else can answer your questions more throughly.
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Alex Shulgin



Joined: 20 Jul 2003
Posts: 553

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A magazine editor I know and another journalist (very experienced journalist who kicked off his career reporting on the Vietnam war and since then has been to pretty much every trouble spot in the world) went there to do a story about 6 months ago. The editor said he was constantly shitting himself and the other guy said it was the most unpleasant country he had ever been too. Sounds like it is best avoided for a few years yet.
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ntropy



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 668
Location: ghurba

PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2003 2:51 pm    Post subject: keep it coming Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Two opinions and two quite different ones. I'd really like to hear from others to see what they think. Keep them coming.

I suppose everything's relative: eg compared to your current situation. As I've just spent several years in the dead of the Yemeni desert most things don't sound too bad. I'm not a social animal and very happy to be on my own at home. Really only concerned with decent teaching situation and a place that's liveable eg -- heated, can buy decent food, no muggings, no 3 hour commutes, able to get books/magazines occasionally, etc.
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bud



Joined: 16 Nov 2003
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 3:55 am    Post subject: Makedonija Reply with quote

I lived in Skopje, Macedonia for six months around five years ago. Skopje is really a divided city, with the Macedonians on one side (i.e., the main side) and the Albanians on the other. On and near the Albanian side there are some interesting and historic-type structures, such as mosques and an old Turkish wall. A lot of the city got levelled in an earthquake in the '60s, so you're looking at a lot of strange, communist post-modernist something (I can't really describe it) architecture downtown. The post office looks like a giant UFO, something that Kazoo from The Flintstones would have flown back in the '60s. That said, Skopje's not a bad city and, as it isn't a sprawling city, you can get around quite easily on foot or with the pretty efficient bus service. It's got a nice mountain in the backdrop with a couple of old Orthodox churches up there. Rent in a typical block just outside the center cost around $200USD at that time. I'm thinking you need around $500/mth to break even (i.e., if you're paying rent). There are a few private schools - one called Nova - that I know of. If you feel the need to get away, you can take a train down to Thessaloniki in around five hours for almost nothing. I don't know how long it takes to get to Beograd. There's no train line to Sofia. Hope this information helps.
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ntropy



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 668
Location: ghurba

PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 4:45 am    Post subject: usefu Reply with quote

Yes, it all helps. Really doesn't sound like too bad a place.

Now, I'm waiting for someone to tell me how I'm wrong.
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cummings



Joined: 25 Mar 2003
Posts: 6
Location: Away

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 2:07 pm    Post subject: Nice place Reply with quote

I was there five years ago and loved it. The people were great and in Skopje you had access to most things you would expect to find in Europe.
The teaching was good too with mainly adults studying. The social life centred around cafe society and cheap nights out eating and drinking. In the south of the country there is Ohrid in the summer where there is a beautiful lake and in winter the skiing is very cheap and excellent.
Two of the teachers i knew then have since married Macedonian women which has to be a positive sign!
I don't know how seriously it has changed since the Kosovo attacks but a friend of mine was back there last year and had no complaints.
There are issues between the Macedonians and the Albanians but they didn't mix much then. The Albanians were all based in their own areas and towns at that time....
I hope you get the chance to go.
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ntropy



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 668
Location: ghurba

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2003 3:53 pm    Post subject: thanks Reply with quote

Thank you, I hope so, too. It does sound intriguing.

I'm already married so does that mean I have to convert to Islam before marrying one of the famous Macedonian women?
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bud



Joined: 16 Nov 2003
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2003 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

?????

Last edited by bud on Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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khmerhit



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 1874
Location: Reverse Culture Shock Unit

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2003 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bar where i drink in downtown north america is run by Macedonians-- theyve got a map of their country on the wall, and they speak in their lingo when theyre not busy. They seem pretty easy going but i dont think they are, really. Or at least, they dont put up with any nonsense. Theyre into all sorts of stuff, so they see a lot of nonsense, if you get my drift. I imagine Skopje, Macedonia would be a very interesting place!
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