29 JUL


Guzuer Bajram!! I couldnt of planned my trip to Bitola any better, even though it just fell into place. I happen to be in my mothers home town on this festival occasion.


First port of call was to visit the cemetery. I’ve never seen anything like it, the place was packedpeople and cars clogged the dirt roads leading into the cemetery.

We bumped into my Yengye Mazez’s nephew Orhan, his brother Yusuf and other family members. Orhan just happened to be a taxi driver, who asked how I was getting back to Korce, I was looking for a way back into Albania. Synchronicity on the way in and out of Macedonia!

There lots of Gypsy (Roms) people there, I didnt realise there were many Gypsy Musilms. I hadn’t seen many whilst in Bitola. I noticed the wild and wacky looking vehicle that had buzz saws perched on the front of the vehicle. It was like the Buzzwagon in Wacky Races.

Whilst at the cemetery we visited Zenel, Dai Kemal, Dai Kenan and Bukana Sadie (Firdes’ mum) graves to pay respects.

After that we went to another much older cemetery to see Bukebaba (Firdes’ dad) Husen grave. Visiting all the graves wasnt a somber affair really, thankfully, there was much respect in the air.

From their Zinka, Erdzan, Benjamin, Gevdet, Nevsat, Sebajdin and I went to have coffee and lollies at a café in the Bitola Town Square.

After coffee we visited Firdes’ sister Mirem and her husband Ramiz. We then visited Gevdat’s house. He was asleep but we met his mother and wife.

On the way home we also passed a Gami that my cousin Nevrous had lived in 20 years ago with his wife and kids.

When we got home we rested in the back yard then Nevsat tended to his pigeons. I sat there thinking how much he reminded of my Dai Jusuf doing the same thing many years ago. I also took photo’s of Shermin’s window sill which was full of beautiful flowers.

Gevat, Lule (Fatime’s sister), their children Lirim and Adelina came by to wish everyone a happy Bajram.

Then we ate some yummy Baklava and Luklor that Shermin and Fatime made. It was so delicious! Even tried to read our coffee cups. It seemed like everyone could do it. We all sat around to make a Skype call to mum in hospital. Zenep and Jeff were there to. It was to re-connect with family back home. I missed mum a lot and felt relieved to know she was OK and that Jeff and Zenep were with her.

Later that evening I was on my phone/net, I came downstairs and sat under porch to rest, I met Gulten’s husband Njazi (a policeman) and his family. Very friendly people.

After that I went straight to bed as once again, like every other day I was worn out.