Monday, October 31, 2005

M&M: Jazz @ the Jukebox Café

Of course Olivier the French violinist had lived in Williamsburg, where he met the Macedonian NYU film student who became his wife. Of course the guitarist Toni had lived in Boston. Even here in Skopje, in the surprisingly unknown Macedonia, does the world come crowding in. The jazz trio was great. Watched the table next to us fill, empty and refill a few times over. Jovica was a charismatic host, a bon vivant in his own way. Drank too much, smoked too much and closed the place down.
M&M: Bibi Takes up to the Mountains

The monastery to St. Pantalemion is closed. It is a Monday. So we miss seeing the pre-Giotto frescoes, especially of the nude Jesus, or rather of him wearing transparent clothes. We sit in the large empty restaurant overlooking the darkening city. The pita pie with stuffed sheep cheese id delicious. The rakia is excellent and the Macedonian wine is better today.

Bibi is a wonderful and knowledgeable hostess. I am slowly disentangling the information about Kosovo, the Albanians, the bombing of Belgrade, the siege of Sarajevo. Macedonians are very into their own problems, and they do have more than their share. There is not much lay curiosity about the outside world and I am past being an exotic foreigner. Yoshiko and I are the only two Asians we have encountered in Skopje so far.