After a visit to my little sister + family, I was travelling from Munich to Skopje, via Ljubljana, where I sniffed already some semi-Balkan air. I did arrive at Skopje feeling some hesitation, as I had not managed in the to reach Asan, my main musical contact and collaborator. I only had learned, that most of my acquaintances from the Roma community were actually not around, even though they know I would come and we had agreed to work together. Well, I was about to learn lots of Romani behaviour patterns and mentality - lets keep an open mind, and dive into the learning curve…
I first went to my accommodation, a strange little room in a so-called hostel towards Mount Vodno up the hill - in clean air. I was so happy that one of the non-Roma friends I made last time had arranged spontaneously to meet in the evening, so I did not have a lonely evening ahead.
As soon as all practicalities with my accommodation were sorted, I went to the centre, to sniff Skopje air. Luckily I had discovered that one can download google map areas to the phone and use them when off-line – this should keep my getting-lost to a minimum.
When I arrived at the Ploštad Makedonija, I was greeted by, for Skopje, rather alien sounds. A large group of Buddhist people went walking around the square, dressed-up, singing, dancing, and giving a pretty contrasting vibe to all those overly-sized statues and Vienna-imitation-type of buildings.
A while later, my friend Miki came; he felt like crying, when he absorbed the energy of the Buddhist performance, as he was so touched by the love and positive energy it vibrated. For the next three hours I learned all about the difficulties regarding the Macedonian government and how the once special energy which had surrounded Skopje in the past was getting more and more lost, being replaced by questionable buildings and self-centred people.