Judge Dredd, Tony Montana and Frank the rabbit - a night in Kosovo.
What a week. I went to see the Basketball. Pristina were playing and it was a great game. The fans are pretty mad and we sang and waved arms and generally enjoyed ourselves. When I got in a huge police man stopped me and searched me. He took a pencil out of my pocket and dropped it on the floor. Funny joke I thought. For some reason the word "wanker" also jumped into my mind. I bent down to pick it up and he stopped me and said "no". I said "why can't I have my pencil?". He said "offensive weapon".
So here I am standing in front of this 7 foot high policeman wearing a helmet, full Kevlar armour plating and riot gear. You are holding a shot gun, you have a semi automatic in your belt, a truncheon and a little torch and doing a pretty good impression of Judge Dredd and he is telling me that I'm carrying an offensive weapon.
Just goes to show that the pen is still mightier than the sword.
Saturday night was most definitely one of those nights out in Pristina...
We (me, Johan, Erzen and Blerim) left a bar called Lounge 16 and Johan said "I like girls that wear ties and black tops". To be honest, this was the first time that I have ever experienced total silence in Pristina. Even the Jackdaws stopped and stared at him. Anyway moving along swiftly, we went to Akbar.
Johan, Blerim, Erzen and I started a conversation about Johan talking to a girl at the bar. We spoke to a friend (she, who shall not be named:) and I asked her "what chat up line should Johan use on that girl?". She replied to me "he is a swede - you want to fuck like a rabbit". I laughed. Frankly (pun later) i would have been happy to go home then, but the night got stranger.
Johan discovered a true art in teaching the bunny dance to Kosovars. This went down very well. Johan is still alive and well which surprises me.
It was after his brush with death that I asked if anybody has seen a film called Donny Darko. To my surprise, everyone looked at Johan and said "FRANK" - hello frank. It was around this time that Tony Montana walked in, but that is another story.
Anyway, 10 minutes passed and Frank disappears. We go and find him and...and...yes of course he's sitting on the sofa with a girl talking about the bunny dance and wearing her tie.
Today I would like to blog about birds and in particular one type of Kosovo bird namely the Jackdaw. For those of you who did not attend bird identification classes at school, the Jackdaw is a Eurasian bird related to and resembling the crow. It has black plumage with a gray nape and underparts. It has two other traits, firstly it is loud. It flies around shouting it's head off all the time. This perhaps is not that much of a big deal until you equate in the second trait. They hang around in gangs. This is a real problem in Kosovo because these Jackdaw gangs can have a few hundred members, all hanging around shouting at each other all day long.
What is really unique about the Kosovo Jackdaw gangs is that they all choose to meet at night and have shouting matches to see which one of them can create the most noise. This ritual in itself is not a problem, however I have noticed that they like to do this right outside my fucking bedroom window at 3am every night.
Call me a cynic, but I think one of the local jackdaw informants have told them that I'm vegan. Being a vegan I cannot of course shoot them. I have therefore adopted a policy of persuading them to leave the roof. I even tried reading them poetry.
Jackdaw jackdaw shut the fuck up.
This had little effect. In fact the following night the Jackdaws were joined at 3am by a mad Kosovo man who serenaded the jackdaws with his flute.
I have to admit, this was the first time this has ever happened in my life. I had two options; bury my head under the pillow or do something else.
Today I bought a Barry Manilow album - payback time is soon upon them.
As the plane touched down I was feeling good. It always feels good to land in Kosovo. You get off the plane and see the friendly faces, take a deep breath of air and wish you had not. The power station is still tipping out fumes into the air. Seeing as it creates hardly any power I think they should name it the cloud making station or CMS (cloud mismanagement system). Clouds 24-7 brought to you by KEK, the Krap Environmental Kompany. It's really called KEK by the way (rough translation is The Kosovo Electric Company).
I woke up on the first morning and looked forward to a walk across the park to the Institute. I always look forward to meeting these students. They are a great bunch of characters.
Down the stairs and out. The Sun is out and I feel like I could dance up the street. I turn to face the half built Serb church. It has a big gold cross on the top of the dome which shines in the Sun.
I turn to look at the Institute, the National library. I always have deep thoughts about buildings like National libraries. The design and the grace or statue of the building does after all some how represent the literal knowledge of the nation.
I walk towards the car park and to my surprise I can see that someone has dumped a huge pile of shit in the car park. How strange. It can't be KEK because they can't deliver shit.
I walk closer. It's not shit because its got a strange shape, like a pyramid. There''s a pyramid in Kosovo? No it can't be.
I walk closer. The sides have steps. What is it?
I walk closer. Fuck me - someone has dumped a huge stone cake outside the National Library!
I stand below it looking up through the layers of stone towards the top. The library stands in the Sun behind and I drop my bag. I look up and my jaw drops. This could be the ugliest thing I've ever seen. It's, it's - fuck - It's got water coming out of the top. Oh my god - It's a fucking fountain. Someone has dumped the ugliest cake shaped fountain in the world outside the national library and plumed it in and no one noticed.
(one week later)
I walk with a depressed limp down the stairs and out into the day. It's cloudy. No sunny cross today. The park is damp after rain. I feel depressed. It's been six day and it's still there.
I walk across the car park and oh no. no no no. no. Noooo. I drop down to my knees. Last night someone gave it babies. The fucking fountain has two baby fountains next to it. The father must have been a small mushroom.
Oh yes. I get it. It's the world biggest fucking mushroom cake and here I stand before it getting stoned on this fountain of knowledge.
Tom Calthrop, Hatton Garden, Dominica