Sunday, October 2, 2011

Peppers and Tobacco

I suppose my focus of thinking is currently constrained by my University classes. I find studying one area while seeing a much wider world a bit hard to assimilate into a coherent world view.
I have a class (a not very good class) focused on gaming, robots, and technology. I am pretty sure the people I saw in Macedonia harvesting tobacco or drying the tobacco on their porches are not thinking about Robotics much.
Then my war and media class had me thinking about the break down of Yugoslavia, which is of course still a topic in Macedonia but it is 'the past'.
The country still has larger current concerns. Zok and I went to the 'new' museum, which turned out to be a very strange history lesson.
The building had a strict no photos policy so I'll have to try and describe.
There were wax figures of historic persons, juxtaposed next to huge paintings. These were brand new paintings, but they were meant to look like paintings a bit like the famous 'Washington crossing the Delaware'.
Then the ceiling had small led lights that twinkled like stars. There were also very modern aspects. Basically you walk through with a guide who explains the oppression of Macedonia since the Ottoman empire.
There are several maps showing Macedonia before it had been occupied and taken over bit by bit to become the small landlocked country that it is now.
They skipped talking about Alexander (King of Macedonia, aka Alexander the Great), or about the symbol on their flag, these are two of the main reasons Greece is fighting against Macedonia being let into the EU among other things. They also sort of ended right before the war that broke up Yugoslavia. They did talk quite a bit about the oppression from Bulgaria because this was the start of the idea that Macedonia was never its own culture or community, and that their language doesn't 'count'.

My non-fiction writing class makes me think about all the opportunities so many of us have. There are many, many people with limited options.
I also have a hard time understanding governments. There is so much trash and litter. That and the empty buildings and graffiti.
When there have been countries that have successfully cleaned up their environments why do many countries seem not to care?

In Macedonia there are still horse and carts on the roads with the cars.
There are signs for them. I missed getting a good photo. The iphone for photos is convention but not good for action shots.
Most are a sort of 'tinker' trade. In Prilip they take any unwanted electronic equipment. They fix them up and re-sell them.
At least someone is recycling.

1 comment:

brandi said...

that sounds so surreal.... i want to see a museum like that. xoxo