Hello, I’m Furkan from Turkey. This EVS project is my first experience abroad! I hope it will be an amazing experience ?
When I arrived at the Skopje Airport I was surprised upon hearing this interesting language, reading the Cyrillic alphabet, seeing stylish clothes, feeling the cool weather… so many differences.
One important change for me is speaking English! I never have spoken in English in my country so now I really need to practice for my survival. Also, I am in a country where I don’t know anybody… just my future colleagues!
I can’t connect to the airport Wi-Fi to tell everyone I am here, but I have to get to the Skopje bus station. I remember Milcho (the President of my organization) informed me how to transfer airport to the Skopje Bus station; so I checked the email and found the bus.
But I have another problem… I don’t know where I have to get off the bus! Thankfully the driver is announcing locations in English, and I get off when I hear him say the Skopje Bus station. I bought a ticket to Bitola.
I want to update Milcho, but I don’t have internet connection! I look around and see a young guy with his phone. I ask him to share his wi-fi with me; he is such a polite person and shared it. I finally sent a message to Milcho, he has to know when I arrive in Bitola to come pick me up… or I will not survive waiting in these cold streets!
I didn’t know where to get off the bus in Bitola, because I don’t know what the city looks like! Again, I asked someone, and he said “I will get off in Bitola too and I will tell you when we arrive.”
So I’m really curious to see Bitola! I’m looking around; we are moving between the mountains. For a long time, we have travelled between the mountains. I start to think this country just has mountains! Where are the cities? After one hour, I see buildings so I believe there are some cities too.
Finally we arrived in Bitola! I am looking around wondering, so… where is Milcho? I start to think of what I can do.
I decide want someone’s Wi-Fi like last time. I see a young guy and he helped me call Milcho, who says I am in the wrong place! Not the bus station, I was in the stop before the station!
But it’s not a problem.. I wait… I am just happy to meet Milcho and have this part of my journey begin! We get to the Sfera house and I rested after this long trip.
In the next 2 days we have vacation for the Christmas and I have to time go around and meet people with my Turkish friend, a volunteer in the Sfera organization. She took me to a café to eat and meet some people. I am really shocked by the friendliness of the Macedonian people. They don’t want to trick you and they always help you if you need it. The people make you safe as if you were in your own home.
Bitola is quite a small town too. I have never lived in such a small town; I am used to living in a big metropolis in Turkey.
One amazing thing for me is that when you are crossing the streets, drivers stop and let you pass! This really surprised me because it’s not same in my country– there people often get injured by cars when crossing. Its makes me happy to see drivers having more respect for pedestrians.
Overall, these friendly Macedonian people make me feel really good, the country may be poor but the humans are rich with friendship and their warm hearts.