Nalini got here this afternoon, my friend from Israel that I met in Tirana. And I guess I should tell you that here is back in Skopje.

I left Belgrade a couple days ago. Things had turned around somewhat – I had run into Alex and Augustina, and even managed to make a couple new friends – but I had already decided what Belgrade was in my head, and I couldn’t be swayed from it. The only Belgrade I will remember is too cold, to expensive, and apparently too unwilling to administer a Covid vaccine to me with a tourist visa (I filled out the form in January, I’ve never received so much as an email back.)

Or so I thought. There was a blonde girl on my bus; I saw her on the platform in Serbia and I saw her again at the border crossing. And then, magically, there she was checking in just before me when I walked into my hostel back in Old Town. 

I knew we were friends after a single beer.

And now I’ve had the pleasure to add someone to our roster: Tassi, from São Paulo. And within hours of the three of us being all together we knew that whatever the fuck we were embroiled in, we were doing it together. 

Between three days with Alex back in Belgrade and a few days with a new friend in revelry, it was fucking rough getting up yesterday for Никола’s basketball game. And did I drink again tonight instead of doing laundry and cleaning my room? Oh, yes, totally. 

Am I behind on work? A bit, but Nalini and I intend to rectify that soon with a trip to Skopje’s supposedly incredible coworking space/coffee shop, The Public Room, so were all good on that front.

When we all came back into our dorm tonight to got to bed, Tassi told us that when she was a kid, her mom used to tell her to clean her room saying “your room is like favella, it’s like favella in here!” and after days of neglect piling on neglect, all of our things are strewn everywhere.

Dirty laundry mixed within our sheets and errant hair ties and panties tossed neglectfully on the floor.

But yeah. Maybe we’re poor, and maybe we’re messy, but this is our favela. We, its faveladas. 

And quite frankly, we’ll clean it when we chose. 

And if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to try an go to sleep now. And I will do so knowing that my sisters will be here when we all wake up in the morning.


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