First impressions of a Romanian in Prilep, Macedonia

When I first arrived in Macedonia I was impressed by the nature,it has a lot of flowers that I hadn’t seen before.It took two hours from the Greek border to the city of Prilep,and when I arrived here I was welcomed by everyone,by the people who I came with in the taxi,then by the volunteers that waited for me at the appartement.

I liked very much the fact that the place where I live now is close to some kind of rocky hills,called Marco’s Towers,which I saw on the map before arriving here.I learned that Marco was the king of Prilep in the 14th century,and also there’s  a really big statue of him the center of the city.

Speaking about the city center,I liked how it looks,it has everything you need from pharmacies to banks,places to eat,drink or buy clothes.I noticed that people here like to eat pastries,as they have some places open non-stop,which you couldn’t find in Romania.Also it has some parks where you can relax and overall it is a nice place to take a walk.The downside would be that there are lot of cars and motorbikes so there’s some air pollution.

If I would compare Prilep to my hometown in Romania,Tarnaveni,I would say that the main difference that I noticed was the demographics.Here in Prilep there are a lot more young people on the streets,especially in the evening.During the day I saw some middle aged people and also some old people talking or relaxing in the center on the benches,but in Tarnaveni you can mostly see older people during the day.Also another difference between the two cities is that Prilep has more small businesses,like a lot of barber shops that are situated in small rooms in the buildings.Usually in Tarnaveni there are either big beuty salons with cosmeticians,hair stylist and manicurists, or salons where 3 or 4 barbers work together.One thing that is common is that people in both cities eat pastry,but in Prilep they make it in a different way,and also they eat a lot more than we do in Romania,because I have seen some pastry shops open non-stop!In Tarnaveni we don’t have places to eat open non-stop,except for 1 grocery store and one restaurant is outside of the town,but in Romania you can usually find gyros or shawarma non-stop.A similarity between the two is that young people go out at night to socialize in pubs,but Prilep has a lot more and diverse places to hang out at.

A defining thing about Prilep is their local beer Zlaten Dab,which is pretty good and not that expensive. Another representative thing about Prilep is the tobacco plantations.A lot of people work there,even some of the volunteers told me that they can work during the summertime.

  The people here are friendly,a lot of them know English,so I will be ok until I get to learn Macedonian.

 I didn’t have any expectations before I came here,so I think I will take in everything with fresh eyes,also I will try to learn and adapt to the culture day by day.Today I can say I ate a Macedonian prepared food,it was a pork soup that had an interesting texture and taste,also the bread was very soft and tasty,and it came with some fried pepper of some sort.The first few days I ate pastry,fruit and vegetables,so in the future I am eager to try more traditional food.

The main objective for me would be to learn how to build or start a similar organization that would work back in Romania in my city,and also to be able to sustain it to develop similar projects to the one I’m currently at.

All in all,I hope I can help with my best at this EVS project that I’m participating in,and also that I can learn as much as I can to develop myself too.