The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

A Southerner Abroad in North Macedonia

Skye McKinney

Posted on June 25, 2021 10:48

1 user

With almost a week into my Macedonian excursion, I've learned a lot about the culture and the people.

After two days of flying around the world, I was thrilled when we finally boarded our last flight and touched down in Macedonia an hour later. It wasn't that long until we were in the car heading to my friend's childhood home in Skopje. 

First impression? Macedonia is absolutely beautiful. The capital city, Skopje, is tucked just inside a variety of beautiful mountains. It's like its own little world out here. But what I want to focus on is the people and the culture and maybe a little bit about the food. 

I've never felt more welcome than I did when I first arrived in Macedonia. As soon as we arrived to my friends home, we were greeted with a huge sign that welcomed us, along with fireworks that were set off as soon as we pulled into the driveway. People laughing and cheering for the arrival of their long lost friend, brother, and son. It was truly a sight to see and an experience that I don't know if I'll ever have again.

All of his friends and family were eager when greeting me. They knew my name, welcomed me with open arms, and made me feel like I belonged. Even though I was insecure about my southern accent, they assured me that they could understand me perfectly and there was nothing to worry about. But I've come to find out the I'm not the only one insecure about my accent. 

Although I have to admit, the language barrier is hard with his family. I want so badly to talk with his family, but there aren't many that speak or understand English. So, in return, I've made it my mission to be able to say basic things like thank you. It's always fun when I surprise someone by saying something in Macedonian. I love their shock and they will often tell me good job or bravo! But I still have to have my friend translate which can sometimes suck. 

The culture is similar to American culture but very different in some ways. The biggest difference is that they drink coffee all day long! I can't tell you guys how many times I have had coffee at 10:30 at night! It's so different from when we drink coffee. Most people just drink it in the morning or whenever they first wake up. But not here. They drink it all day, multiple times a day. 

The food is amazing! Probably some of the best food I've ever had that wasn't my mother or father's food. My friend's mother is a fantastic cook and is always trying to feed me. She always tells me to eat more and she even filled my plate with second helpings one day. The older generations love for you to eat. I think it makes them happy to see their food being eaten and to know you're never hungry. It's sweet in a way. 

To be continued... 

Skye McKinney

Posted on June 25, 2021 10:48

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: Al Jazeera

Residents of neighbouring Bosnia, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Croatia travel to Belgrade for a COVID-19 shot.

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest