Showing posts from June, 2014

Tetovo, Macedonia

I am in Macedonia for the first time, again through a Youth in Action programme. Thank you EU for giving me this amazing opportunity!

The project was held in Tetovo, a city situated at one hour away from Skopje. With the remains of the war between the Macedonians and Albanians (2001) still present, the city is currently experiencing big changes. Everywhere there are new buildings being built. Most of the buildings are in a brick  state (with no façade), which means that they are not yet finished, so the owner does not need to pay taxes.  Well, you can see many houses finished inside and not finished on the outside.

In Tetovo life is easy. Travelling by taxi anywhere in the town costs no more than 2 or 3 euros.A meal out costs 5 euros, a Vodka drink 2 euros.A hair dresser (including washing, cutting, and blow dry) costs 6 euros.A normal salary is between 150 -200 euros. And this is sad. With this money, people can live from one day to another, but can never afford to buy a house, or to …

Back to Istanbul

I have been to Istanbul for the second time. Well, 6 years ago I had a wonderful travel by train from Bucharest. This time was simply awful! I paid for a bed in a private compartment in a sleeping coach and not only did I not get it, but there was no sleeping coach at all. Instead, the train controller put me on a standard class coach from Bucharest to Gorna Racovita (Bulgaria), and from there I took a bus to Sofia, then another train to the Turkish border, and from there a bus to Istanbul. No sleep, no relaxation time, no beds in the train, just 19 hours of stress!

Anyway, I finally reached Istanbul. After checking with the train agency, I found out that the sleeping coach had been removed and I that I had to change transport so many times because of railway repairs in Bulgaria and Turkey. As nobody gave me any notice about this, I asked the Romanian train agency to give me my money back. The answer was: “you have to wait between 1-3 months and then we will see”.Amazing customer ser…