A travel journal
to Kosovo by Voweless Wonder
Quote: So you've watched Tom Brokaw's Nightly News and caught part of "Welcome to Sarajevo" - traveling through war-torn Kosovo must be a nightmare then, right?. Not exactly true...
The Albanian people are the friendliest in the world - just knock on a door in any village, and you'll soon be having çai with the whole family. There are also many Western-style pubs around to accommodate all the humanitarian workers, UN personnel, and the military. Which, by the way, is the main reason it's so safe - you can't go 10 minutes without seeing Western military personnel!
Sitting in a restaurant in Prishtina, the capital, is quite an international treat - I remember one time counting eight spoken languages around me. Be careful and use common sense, but see the world while you can! And don't miss out on Kosovo, especially if you're adventurous and enjoy living-by-the-seat-of-your-pants while being totally immersed in a unique culture.
For both genders: don't look the opposite gender in the eye, especially if they're around your age or a little older. This may seem rude, but it's totally normal to them - otherwise, you may look like you're hunting for a date.
While you walk around the bigger cities of Prishtina, Prizren, or Peja, listen for your language spoken (if it's English, German, or French, it won't take long). Stop those people, and ask them for advice on the best things to check out. There are all kinds of historical mosques, battle sites, and museums around. The yellow building in the center of Prishtina, the EU building, has a great museum on the recent 1999 war with Serbia.
Kombis - or Volkswagen vans with numbers on the windshieds -are a fun, sometimes hot way to travel. The driver waits until the kombi is full, then takes you to your destination (much like a shared taxi). It's sometimes hot, but it's cheap - from .25 US to .00 US.