Last weekend Dan began teaching his Friday, Saturday, and Sunday training classes. These weekend courses will run until mid-July. He's on his second weekend now and has already figured out that working 7 days a week is grueling for him and boring for me.
Last weekend while Dan worked I accepted an invitation to go to Greece with our friend Angel. Angel is a travel agent and he was delivering 12 clients and picking up 35 clients to/from a resort area of the first "finger." Even though it meant 6 hours down by bus and 6 hours back by bus, I went because I wanted to see the area and I was bored. Angel promised me lunch on the beach, but alas that was not to be. He was occupied with travel agent duties during the entire 2 hours at the resort. I sat on the beach under an umbrella with my legs exposed to the sun and then I walked to the center to grab a lunch before the return 6-hour bus ride. No matter how bored I am I will never do that again.
Olivera was able to get a certificate proving she owns the apartment that we rent from her, so on Wednesday, Olivera and Dan went again to a Notary to have our rental agreement notarized. They had success. On Thursday, Dan and his Macedonian lawyer, Ivan, went to the Ministry of Interior. The employee looked at them like she didn't know why they were there. Dan said Ivan and the woman at the Ministry had an argument in Macedonian and then Dan and Ivan left. This is not a good sign. Next week, Dan and his lawyer will go to the Bureau of Labor for something regarding his work permit. We remain illegal residents of Macedonia.
Kali, who is normally a very good eater (hence the diet) and always hungry (because she is on a diet), began leaving some of the Royal Canin wet food untouched in her dish this week. During the week she was lethargic and also had some diarrhea and vomiting. Friday morning she refused to eat any Royal Canin. Fortunately, I had a Friskies packet of food courtesy of Olivera. I put the Friskies in her dish and she ate it all.
I searched the internet to see if there were any new reports of tainted pet food and I found a site (consumeraffairs.com) listing May and June complaints originating in the USA and Canada about Royal Canin food. The pets all had the same symptoms as Kali. Some pet owners reported that once the food was changed, the symptoms disappeared, but some said the animal was so damaged that it had to be put down. I contacted the Royal Canin distributor in Macedonia and their vet wrote me that my cat was old and all cats have digestive issues. She said it wasn't their pet food that was causing the issues. I realize that all the complaints so far are anecdotal, but now I have no confidence in Royal Canin's products and Kali is getting Whiskas and Friskies packets of wet food. I returned all the Royal Canin to the pet supply store where it had been purchased. Kali has returned to her old self--fortunately.
Last Saturday I went to a charity bazaar on the pedestrian street. I bought 10 raffle tickets for about $20 from which I won 3 prizes. 1. I won 1 ticket to the performance of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra here in Skopje. 2. I won two vouchers at a "Salt Medical Clinic." Olivera and I went yesterday to find out what a "salt room" is. After sitting 45 minutes in a room covered with salt (walls, ceiling, floor) and breathing salt, we are still puzzled. The "salt room" literature broadly states that it is good for respiratory system problems. Anyway, it was a nice escape from the outside heat. 3. And, best of all, I won a cell phone. It is a Samsung S3770. I'm not completely sure what it can do as all the written literature is in Macedonian, but it is definitely a step up from my other phone.
This week we had our last IWA meeting until September. Many of the members leave Macedonia for the summer. Next Monday will be the last "official" Monday hike for the same reason. Fortunately, there seem to be a lot of events going on in Skopje. On Wednesday night, Turkish Folk Dancers from the Kirklareli Province in the Marmara Region of Turkey performed in Ploshtad Makedonija.
Last week, there were still clouds and rain, this week the clouds have disappeared and it has been hot. Most days it reaches a high temperature in the 30s (91-93F). By the end of next week the forecast is for 36C (about 97F). The coolest place to be during the day is next to the fountain under the Alexander the Great statue or on my little balcony sipping homemade mint-lemonade. Cheers!