Wednesday, 11 February 2009

DP goes Bitola Fashion Week?

Yes, I have been invited to show my Widows & Soldiers collection as a guest designer at Fashion Week in Bitola ( that's in the south of Macedonia, my dear readers;)). It sounds ( almost) surreal. But according to my last years crazy Easter-time road-tripping experience to Skopje, it is worth going there, if nothing else, for the pure entertainment. I went there with Mushi and a good friend of mine, who happened to fall in love with a Macedonian guy and had some unresolved love issues with him which we decided she needed to solve immediately. The journey started right after a sleepless -night- partying -experience in K4. But the universe decided to expose our little expedition to various temptations and, may I even say danger?! :)
The start of our journey was already very promising. It was snowing heavily.We almost had a car crash but continued safely thanks to Mushi's driving skills and, hell yeah, volvo's strength.
Being in Skopje was an excellent experience. People are lovely, friendly, warm, super-hospitable. They're poor but they would give you everything. A guest in a macedonian family is treated like a king, as they put up a whole wedding-like dinner party. I will never forget those yummie dolmas, lamb roasts, homemade breads and other delicious food.
The most exotic part of Skopje for me was definitely the garbage. Will I offend anyone if I say that this is tipical of the Balkans, the more south you go, the less environmentally aware they are? The amount of trash I saw down there...wheeeehoooo!
I experienced also horses galloping along the city boulevards, along with a cart full of Gipsies. Well Gipsies were pretty much everywhere, they would try to sell you shit on every corner, or beg for money. For those who don't know, a little more south from Skopje is located Šutka, the biggest Gipsy ghetto/town (the place where Kusturica puts up auditions for his movies).
Not to mention the old bazaar on the albanian part of the city. Stashes of tasteless kitschy clothes from the early 80's made in turkish sweat shops, sold under Dior name??!!
Plenty of Couture shock for a fashion designer. :)
Traveling back to Slovenia was another exotic story. On the border with Serbia all gets complicated. The Serbs didn't want to let us through because we didn't have a green card. What fucking green card? The custom guy says: Well, you must pay 160 euros and we'll give you a one way permit. Oh yeah, here we are. They wanted to earn a bit of money. But we couldn't get the money because they don't have ATM mashines, or a bank or exchange office. ( They even don't have computers. They write all their permits by hand). We had to go back into Macedonia, driving for half an hour to the next biggest town (Kumanovo) to find a bank or ATM. It took us a couple of hours to find it. In between I saw more of the "Dior" shops along the streets with the same "quality" clothing ( from the same era as in Skopje).
At the border, again, they didn't let us through. The Serbs again. They said: Well, we do not except macedonian currency. Only serbian dinars. (Did I mention before that there is no exchange office there?) So, Mushi had to take a walk back to the macedonian border and change the Denars into Dinars. Finally, off we go, and the heavy rain starts. The heavy rain changed into heavy snow all along the highway until Ljubljana. On the croatian-serbian border, they kicked us out of the car, on the side of the road and searched us as they thought we were smuggling shitloads of heroin. We were freezing out in the snow, and after a thorough search, all they found was a bag full of carrots. (my snack for the journey).
As we were reaching Zagreb we managed to pass 4 chain crashes. Yes, four, you heard it correctly. Do I need to say that it took us ages to get through? And finally, from Zagreb to the Slovenian border crossing, a total traffic jam due to the Easter holidays: gastarbeiters from the Balkan countries heading back to Munchen with the pace of a snail, little by little. And the cherry on top: we passed the croatian customs, almost reached the slovenian customs, and BOOOM, our car dies. Empty tank. Mushi took another long walk (2 km to the first gas station), and us girls stayed in the queue, pushing our car every now and then until the car beeping behind us, packed with 4 Bosnians stepped out into the snow to help us.
I forgot to mention here that I had to go to the toilet and had to show my passport for this action. And then back to the no mans land to help push the car forward.
Fuck this story is already too long. I might continue in another post.
Overall, I had a blast down there.:) Especially while traveling..:)
Which is why it makes me wanna go down there again. For the exotic reasons.
widow&soldier photo: Bocvana


  1. OMG - That's fooookin FABULOUS!!! Congrads, darling!!!! When ARE WE GOING? ;))

  2. hehehe, sem lih mislila te vprasati ce bi sla zravn- i'm always in a need of a photographer...and that would be u my dear:)

  3. pa se zigca pa ali za povrh. :)
    pa svizca.:)

  4. 1. Heh, Bitola je mega! 2. Čez mejo bi vas spustil tud za 20-40 eur. Pač, studenti, ni več denarja, ekr se vračate iz dopusta itd. ! :) 3. Davorka, tale bel tekst na črni podlagi ubija! Ko prebereš do konca se ti črke še 5 minut svetijo v očeh ne glede na to kam pogledaš...Prevelik kontrast... Just a hint how to make blog a bit more user friendly...

  5. matjaz, text je sivkast, but I'll try to work it out, prvo moram vidti kako zgleda na kakem drugem kompu, na mojem je cist fajn.:)

    thnx 4 the tip

    a si bil ze v bitoli? would love to hear insiders info..

  6. if you'll like Bitola, next destination: a Siberian village... Novosebirsk maybe? that's exotic as well! :P


  7. darling, i knew u would understand the concept of vukojebinas really well:)

    i would love to go back to russia:)

  8. v glavnem, zelo dobro ti gre angleščina, najraje bi ti pritisnila eno domačo nalogo v smislu prevoda ;)

  9. Davorka, Greetings from Bitola, mwaa

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  11. I like Dinar.and its revaluation of currency.