Happy Halloween from Kosovo

If you know me, you know I LOVE Halloween. I’m not into horror movies or those scary mazes where men in masks chase you with fake chainsaws, but I do love dressing up and partying with my friends! For the past three years, I’ve hosted Halloween parties back home and there was no way that I would let being in a foreign country that doesn’t even celebrate Halloween stop me from carrying out my tradition.

So with the help of my good friend, Audrianna, we started planning a Halloween party via WhatsApp. (Quick Detour: Audrianna has a little stuffed gnome named Radar that she takes everywhere with her here in Kosovo and he is highly regarded amongst all PCVs here). We joked about making the theme of the party Radar and set a strict dress code: you MUST dress as Radar or a gnome to be granted entry to the party.

So the Friday before Halloween, we all met up in Prishtina and decided to begin our holiday festivities with some fun pumpkin carving!

Me trying not to get stabbed
Christina and a pumpkin head

After pumpkin carving at the pub, we returned to our apartment to decorate and get all dressed up for the party!

Audrianna and I
Katie, Radar, and Me

I’ve only known these people for five months, but I’m so happy they spent one of my favorite holidays with me—just being silly and enjoying each other’s spooky company.

Now it’s time to get to work on next year’s Halloween party theme!

I Went To Prizren Again

As lucky as I am for living in a bigger city in Kosovo, I really don’t like to spend my weekends here. I could never be what PCVs call a “site rat;” someone who never leaves their site.

Typically I like to meet up in Prishtina with my friends because there are a lot of good restaurants, cafes, and people there! But this past weekend we figured we’d try something new and head to Prizren!

If you’ve been here before, you know the last time I went to Prizren I got stranded there… but not this time, friends!

My best friend Christina wanted to get there early so I needed to catch the 8:00 bus. My issue? I didn’t even get out of bed until 7:40. I am… in the nicest way to myself… incredibly lazy and a procrastinator! I didn’t even have time to pack my bag so I shoved whatever I thought I needed for the night in my backpack and set off to the bus stop. And by set off I mean I half ran half power walked.

However! I did make it on time! Although it was probably less of a “on time” and more of a “the bus was late” kind of situation. Either way, I made it and off we went to pick up my best friend and then to Prizren!

When we arrived, we both immediately ran into the “Rita Ora Pizzeria” and started dying laughing. Rita Ora nor her family own this restaurant. She doesn’t endorse it. Nor do I believe she’s ever been there. But it was so funny to see so we of course took pictures.

Then we went to the bank because as PCVs we do not make much money so when we get paid it’s like Christmas every month (and I literally only had enough cash to take the bus into Prizren). There, we ran into three other PCVs who were in Prizren for the day and we accidentally became triplets!

Me, Christina, and Joan!

Apparently many other PCVs had the same idea as us because we ran into even more friends at a cafe!

My beautiful friends Va and Christina

It wouldn’t be right if we didn’t go to KFC for lunch (also a major driving force in the decision to visit Prizren). I’ve said it so many times before and I’ll continue to say it. KFC Kosova is delicious and a beautiful reminder of home! And it’s also a nice change from eating bread all day every day.

I am Colonel Sanders now

After lunch, we went to another cafe because that’s what you do in Kosovo. And I hung out with my very favorite PCV and gnome, Radar!

So, there’s a fountain in the middle of Prizren that holds some magical powers. They say if you drink from it, you will be married within six months. I drank from it back during PST when I visited Prizren for a minority community visit—eager to get married to a beautiful Albanian. What I didn’t think about though was that I had also done another ritual that promises a marriage at Novo Brdo! Which, to me, means they cancelled each other out! I can’t take any risks so, being the romantic I am, I took another drink from the fountain to cancel out the original cancelation!

I won’t give the boring details of our dinner plans, but I will tell you about how my good friend Matt and I were poisoned at a restaurant!!! Okay okay that’s a bit dramatic. We were; however, served habanero paste in large quantities and nearly had our faces melted off! Matt and I immediately went down to the bathroom and started rinsing our mouths and nasal passages out with the tap water. I remember being so confident when the chili was served to me. Even going so far as to say “I’m Mexican. I can handle it!” Boy, was I wrong wrong wrong!

We survived! And we eventually made it back to our Airbnb for the night. Faces in tact and good times still to be had.

I always have such a great time when I’m with my beautiful friends! They make Prizren just a little more beautiful, don’t they?