An Interval

Yes, things have happened, but I want, instead of listing them,  to tell you about our Huntertwasser Walk to school.  (He’s an artist who found straight lines unnatural and flat floors hard to walk on—look him up.)  After taking the elevator from our fifth floor apartment (six floors up from the street), we start out from our apartment’s front door.  Although there’s a cement walk all the way, halfway to the street (Vladimir Kamarov) we diverge to the well-worn diagonal path across the grass.  There is a sidewalk on our side when we reach the street, but after a bit we have to cross to throw a bag of garbage into the dumpster.  (This has become a daily task because the apartment kitchen is too small to store garbage.)  After the dumpster there’s a concrete sidewalk on the other side as well so we proceed to the corner.

Only slightly damp after an overnight rain

Across Vladamir Kamarov from our apartment

Sometimes, when a parent is dropping off a child at the preschool, it looks like this:

All too often . . .

Or maybe not so clear . . .

When we turn the corner, there’s what we call the yellow brick road.

The beautiful brick block

Actually, it’s red brick bordered by yellow brick and beautifully maintained by the pre-school, church, and clinic it borders.

Orthodox Church

Except that, in wet weather there’s a lake in the middle intersection—David goes out into

After a rainy night

the road around it, but I skirt it on the inner edge and feel safer.  So two blocks of walking in comfort whether it’s rainy or clear. But the end of that walkway is a little tricky.

Balancing act

It vanishes in a point so you balance on the curb and leap a muddy bit to get to the street crosswalk.

In the next block there is an uncompleted yellow brick road

The brick starts beyond the tree

(trees got in the way, so they stopped) with river gravel path leading to it and a slope after that passes a hole with a narrow border for walking.  On a dry day it’s easy, but the path

Path to left - important when the hole is full of water

gets slippery with wet leaves.  We are becoming very agile as we collect our 1500 steps each way to and from UACS.

The road can get very narrow

Then come the dodge-ems.

There is a choice:  walk on the edge of the road dodging cars (or off the edge on the dirt or mud path), or cross country on the grass.

Path? at the edge of the road

the scent of maple leaves!!!

Often the path is dry and crackling

Finally, rounding the third set of dumpsters, you come to Forum.

Forum in sight

Actually, Forum is a magazine, but there’s a sign pointing to, I guess, the printer at the corner of a small road.  We turn here because by this point cars are coming off the main road at high speed.  They slow down farther along, but right here they are dangerous.

So we walk along the Forum dirt road bypass under the trees.  It feels like a country road after playing dodge-ems for two blocks.  We turn left at the corner to a dirt road that holds three lakes when it’s wet.

A lovely way after the traffic

Bandi-Amir in miniature?

Can you find the way around these?

Finally we arrive at the marble-paved patio of another private school.

Business-Economic College No smokers today

Past that we walk along a paved road until there’s a clear way so we can cut across

Only one truck--UACS in sight.

the dirt parking lot.  On many days there are several huge TIR trucks parked in rows across the high spots and lakes in the low.  So sometimes we have to walk on the pavement all the way to where it meets the main road (Treta Makadonska Brigada).  There’s a sidewalk on our side of the street, so we walk along that to more or less across from the driveway into UACS.  I say more or less because we are watching the constant

Light day--cars in only one direction

stream of cars coming both ways on this major road.  When we see an opening in both lanes, we dart across as fast as we can.  On the UACS side, there is a narrow sidewalk sometimes blocked by a person or a car, so it’s best to be fairly close to the driveway.  Then up the driveway (avoiding the puddle that on rainy days covers more than half the way) and to the entrance.  Take a deep breath as you turn the corner and hold it as you pass through a crowd of students smoking just outside the door.  Finally–inside the building there is no smoking–you’re in!  And so the day begins.

This entry was posted in Macedonia, September 2010 - June 2011, Skopje, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to An Interval

  1. MarFisk says:

    LOL! You’re SO lucky. You get to play a LARP of Frogger every morning :).

  2. deirdrebeth says:

    I say get a pair of galoshes, throw your shoes in a bag, and just go wading through! Of course you’d probably lose 10% of your steps….

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