Sunday, July 25, 2010


There came a moment.....

A moment of clarity, where i could see clearly what I wanted. 
I had distance from Vienna and time by myself so i had no influences, only myself to think of.

So I thought.... 

"What do I want with my life? What do I want to become? How do I want to spend my time? 
Am I happy with my life now or do I need to make a change?"

The answer was clear

I wanted to move back home to Iceland....

My best friends were not surprised but others (who I talk to occasionally) were shocked, after all I said everything was fine. And it was. But I was not happy and I wanted more with my life. 

I also really wanted to get out of Vienna because it´s not the place for me. I´ve lived in Vienna for 5 years and gotten everything out of it that I can. So it was time to leave

So Iceland, here I come

Friday, July 16, 2010


After a week of not seeing my boyfriend (due to family visits) i was happy to spend a week with him in Albania. We drove from Kosovo to Dürres, Albania

It took 5 hours by car, we stopped once while waiting to get into the new tunnel and then to hand out passports at border control where once they saw I was from Iceland they asked Lumi "Where did you find here"... not surprising, since they probably don´t get a lot of Icelandic visitors. 

We stopped at a restaurant looking for a hotel and the owners of it told us they had a room for us. I was surprised but Lumi said this was how people raised money in the summertime. I trust him so we saw it, liked it and stayed there. It was 15 Euro a night (for both of us) and next to the beach. What a bargain. I loved how cheap Albania was.

We went to the beach during the day and then had dinner at different restaurants every night. The burgers there has the fries in the burger (not on the side). Turns out they eat the french fries first and then the burger. My stomach was still strange after the food in Kosovo so I mostly ate salat.

I loved the beach, I managed to avoid getting a sunburn by staying in the shadows. A miracle, since I´ve got such white skin I burn every holiday.

We also got temporary tattoos, me a rose and lumi the albanian flag icon, to remind us of this trip.

The thing I didn´t like, was seeing the gypsies or Roma people begging on the street without limbs. It broke my heart.

Once we drove back to Kosovo we stopped in Prizren, the oldest town in Kosovo, really beautiful little town. Then we drove home to Vushtrri, packed and I took the plane back to Vienna the next day.

Gotta love holidays, but I was happy to be back in a land, closer to my culture and where I could speak the language. Visiting other countries makes you appreciate yours.

One flaw in women

So beautiful

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kosovo Albanian Wedding part II

 Mother and father of the Bride

Sunday, the Wedding day, started out with a trip to the hair and makeup saloon and then i got dressed in a traditional kosovo-albanian dress, tons of golden jewellry and high heeled shoes Then I greeted all the women of the family with a respect (like the night before) and took more pictures.

 Women and men celebrated separately. The women of Lumi´s family lined up on the side of the door. Then the groom´s family came with their cars, the women in his family came to us, greeted us and then joined the party while a few went inside to get Sqhipe (the bride). The women then danced and chanted, teased that they were getting the most beautiful woman to their family. 
Sqhipe came out and was led to the car by Lumi and his uncle alongside most of the groom´s family and they went away, honking their car horn, leaving Sqhipe´s family alone and crying so much I thought something had happened. After all this was a wedding, not a funeral 

 One woman asked me if I had cried when Sqhipe went away, i looked at Egzona, who translated and asked "is it rude if i say no", she told me to say a little so that´s what i did.

This is what I didn´t get, a wedding is generally seen as a happy occasion, some even say its the best day of your life, yet i didn´t see Sqhipe smile once. I tried to ask her if she really loved the man she was going to marry and she said yes. I felt relieved, especially knowing that most kosovo-albanian weddings are arranged. Maybe this is how they react....calmly.... i can´t say since I haven´t been to other such weddings. It was an interesting wedding but i would not like such one.

Kosovo Albanian Wedding part I

One of the main reasons we wanted to go to Kosovo this summer was that Lumi´s sister Sqhipe was getting married. I have been to two weddings in my life, one traditional Icelandic church wedding (pretty much like the American), a lesbian buddhist 30´s theme wedding and now I was about to experience a Kosovo-Albanian one. I couldn´t wait.
The wedding took place for two days. The men and women have separate gatherings, so I can only speak for the women but as far as I know the men talked and drank beer. The women talk, congratulate and spend the last night celebrating before Sqhipe gets taken (literally TAKEN) to her new home.

Before the wedding, there is the preparation. Me, Sqhipe and the women of the family went to the hair/makeup session for several hours. Then came the dresses. Sqhipe wore at least 5 dresses on Sat and then one on Sunday (typical white wedding dress). I, however, did not have the proper wardrobe so a woman in the family borrowed me a couple. The first one, the one they wanted me to be in was red, with a corset and very tight skirt, how tight...well I moved like a penguin. That was my limit. I was about to explode of anger, no way in hell I would wear that. I have my limits. Thankfully i got a hold of Lumi who could translate and tell them to find another dress for me. I got a blue one and then a green one which I loved.

The next thing i did was to greet everyone, not with a handshake but with respect, so i had to take their hands, my arms in the height of a praying position, bend down and put their hands from my chin to my forehead. Below is Sqhipe, the bride, showing respect.

Sqhipe looked absolutely beautiful but as you can see in the photos she is not smiling. On Saturday she had the stomach ache I had, so i felt bad for her, having to be in such pain on her wedding day.

So the women in Lumi´s family came, all dressed up, some in traditional clothes, others normal. They sat, talked and in the end of the night we ate some gulash, meat, bread and salat. Normally they also dance, but since Lumi´s grandma passed away recently they didn´t feel like dancing.

I was the only one there that didn´t know Albanian and a total foreigner, although everyone was so nice, took the time to come and tell me how great i looked and take a picture with me. Which was nice until I was doing nothing but taking photos with people. I felt like a celebrity. It´s fun at first but then it gets really tiring.

At that point an Albanian girl, Egzona, who lives in Sweden came and not only could she talk English but could also explain the albanian traditions and things that I´ve been seeing but never understood (from a Scandinavian point of view). She saved my night and for that I will be forever thankful to her.

I don´t know what the men did but when i asked lumi´s teenage uncle, he said with a smirk "We drank beer".....sound good.

That was the end of the first day of the wedding. I was so happy to get off my high heels, take off my makeup and hairdo (reminded me of old days of ballroom/latin competition) and get into normal clothes and fall asleep. It´s exhausted not understanding and just smiling. I dare you to try it.

Holiday=Sick leave

Image a stomach pain from hell!!!! That´s what I had on my holiday. When you´re sick you really want to be home, not in your boyfriend´s family house, surrounded by people that don´t understand you (or you them) and in a house which only sometimes has water and electricity.

I was though grateful because Lumi´s aunts worked in a hospital so he could take me there, no waiting. There I got nutrition through my vains (since I wasn´t able to keep anything down, only throw it up). Turns out I had a virus, which has been going around, my nieces in Denmark had it as well as rest of the family in Kosovo later in the trip. Thankfully I was better by the weekend, when Lumi´s sister got married. More on that later.

One thing is for sure: Being sick makes you really thankful to be healthy.