Published: May 7th 2012December 31st 2011
I arrived in Skopje at around 11pm. I had written down where I was supposed to go, but had managed to loose the piece of paper. This turned out to be a big problem as the bus station didn't have any internet cafes. Eventually I managed to find a tourist agency with internet and managed to convince the reluctant and wary worker to let me use her internet, after our attempt at oral communication had failed.
So I scribbled down the address again and then after failing in my attempt to find the hostel on foot, I hailed down a taxi driver who accepted the one or two remaining euros I had, even though it is not the currency in Macedonia. This only got me a skip, hop and a jump from the hostel however and somehow I managed to get lost while skipping, hopping and jumping. Half an hour later I arrived at what I will dub 'hippy hostel'.
With everything completely unlocked, dogs running everywhere, people sprawled out on the lawn and no signs anywhere, I spent my first five minutes at hippy hostel getting lost in its labrynth. I then spent the second five minutes becoming acquainted with its ever so alternative guests and Andrew.
I think I knew immediately that this would be a hostel experience like no other and after going out for a few beers and retiring to bed at around 2am, I uneasily fell asleep. My uneasy sleep was interrupted by a quite startling event that I shall never forget. Awoken by the petrified screams of Andrew, I looked down to see a fat, naked 60 year or so old lady trying to enter Andrew's bed and squashing him in the process, despite his flailing arms of protest.
After recovering from his understandable initial fear, the naked 60 year old lady and Andrew had a conversation that went something along the lines of, naked lady saying something in some slavic language and then trying again to get into his bed and Andrew saying in English get out. At one stage the naked 60 year old lady laughed deleriously and took Andrew's blankets to cover herself - it was around 0 degrees.
Eventually, a man came, I think he was probably her husband, he apologised I think, again it was in a slavic language, so I don't really know and then he dragged her out, two or three times in fact.
After that we tried to figure out away to lock the door, as there were no locks at hippy hostel. Unfortunately this angered the other guest in our dormitory, a Serbian man whose occupation was/is if I had to guess something to do with killing people. He wasn't happy about the door being locked in any case and now that we had met our previously sleeping roommate we weren't to happy about being locked in a room with him either. Needless to say the night was a sleepless one.
The next day we did some sightseeing around Skopje. Actually a very nice, interesting city. A good place to spend a day or two walking around. The historical part of the city is very interesting and there were some cool markets to check out. Completely underdeveloped in the sense of tourism, it was good to see it at its beginnings in this regard, as I am sure it will become homogenized and thus loose its unique charm over the coming years.
That night we went out to a nightclub for New Years. We were hammered by the time we got to the club and it was one of those nights where the day after I swear I will never drink alcohol again. Apart from the hangovers, the other residues of the night's activities included filing a police report due to Andrew's 400 pound coat having been stolen.
The next day we had had enough of hippiville and we left for Tirana, Albania.