Published: June 18th 2011June 18th 2011
Whew! What a week! I have not been able to post here considering we have not been home most of the week. But onto the subject I have chosen... coffee.
Before I arrived in Skopje, I was not much of a coffee drinker. In fact, I avoided it at all costs because it keeps me from sleeping if I drink it after noon. I think that has since changed. My first experience with Macedonian coffee was with the staple, Turkish coffee. One evening this week after, Wednesday I think, I joined Sashka's parents in drinking the daily after-dinner coffee. This stuff makes Starbucks coffee taste like darkened water. It is strong
. Making it requires that one boil very fine coffee grounds with water and then serve it-- without any straining. I took mine with sugar, and even then it tasted exotic. This coffee is not for the weak of heart, and unfortunately I belong to that category, considering it kept me up the entire night (an unexpected blessing-- as I was lying wide awake in bed at 4:45 in the morning, the stillness of dawn was broken by the sound of the Muslim call to prayer echoing into the bedroom. Incredible.). It certainly did the job for which I chose to drink it on Thursday; we went to the disco that night, which does not open until midnight, and I was able to be fully alert until 4 am. Another coffee drink I tried was Nescafe, where a stronger form of instant coffee is blended with water and sugar into a froth and then poured into icy milk, an ideal accompaniment to the sort of hot weather one encounters here.
I thought that trying the coffee here would be a simple sign of my pledge of fidelity to open-mindedness, but I had it the next day. And today. I think I might have to proclaim myself a coffee drinker. Who would have thought? When I return to the U.S. and taste the coffee there, I might even graduate to the next level of coffee drinker: coffee snob