Monday, February 02, 2009

a green pony

I didn't think Macedonians were the honking type. in fact, I was so
very impressed with the patient way they handle the irratic driving and
occassional person or horse in the road that I felt I was beginning to
see a softer, calmer side of the post-communist world. then I bought a
bike. a beautiful green pony 2, to quote the writing in the bike.
and while I started peddling around, the greater Skopje area
discovered their horns.

of course, it was an adventure in itself just getting the thing.
irmezad, an albian woman who works at ambrela, had offered to help me
find a good, cheap bike. apparently in the ethnic web of Skopje, the
Albanians are the bike dealers. anyway, after a suspicious amount of
phone calls, a cab ride to what appeared to be the Albanian slums and
a good deal of walking 'a bit slower behind me please' two gentlemen
rolled out my one and only option- the green pony. had I not been
surrounded by such unfamiliar circumstances I may have declined the
sad looking thing; but as things stood, I bought it on the spot.

my biking directions home were as simple as: take the third
left. the first two lights I saw immediatly, so it seemed easy enough.
but as a teetered around turn after turn of a narrow road on the side
of a mountain, I started having my doubts. and then, if course, the
horns began. when I later consulted a map and saw that I had been
crusinig down highway #2, however, their horns seemed somewhat more

I successfully biked to and from ambrela today, a trek that got me
lost several times and saw the release of a bird in my face by some
friendly Roma children. I had a few more close calls than my average
ride to work in DC and the scenary wasn't nearly as enjoyable, but
(sore butt aside) it felt great to be on a bike again. the horn-happy
drivers have found their way down from the mountain pass, but between
their honking and the cranks and squeaks my bike makes, I'm practially
immune to any sound. having more than one gear, however, would certainly
be welcomed in hilly and potholey little Skopje.

that being said, please keep the safety of me and the green pony in
your thoughts. we both need it


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home