Wednesday, October 31, 2007

japonski tapani and shamisen band

A Japanese traditional drum (taiko) and shamisen band, Bu-shi-do had a concert in Skopje. I did not expect the taiko and shamisen band can be so much entertaining, but all these kids who know how to play the traditional instruments are very much good at entertaining people. Not just playing tapani (taiko in Macedonian) and shamisen cool, but they also do dancing, jumping, backflipping, and even hip-hop scratching. Especially the second half of the stage was very entertaining, when they played taiko more rocky, jazzy, jumpy style. It reminded me "Johnny's" boys. (Johnny's is a very famous Japanese talent management company to manage very popular, cute boys idol (idoru, in another word) groups, who do singing, dancing and jumping.) The first half of the stage, when they played taiko and shamisen traditional way, wearing kimono, was also cool. Funny thing is it reminded me the fact that I had played a taiko for Bonodori (a community summer dancing festival in Japan) when I was a kid. hahahaha (^0^) .... Anyway, it was quite fun. It seems Macedonian liked them too. Next day, my girl co-worker told me they want Bu-shi-do to come back again next year. (Unfortunately, my camera battery run out, so, photos are only from the first half.. sorry)


Monday, October 29, 2007

organic food festival

This weekend, there was an organic food festival in Ramstore. As many say, Macedonia has a potential to grow organic agricultural products and export to EU countries. Although it was a small event this time, but it was quite enough to see the potential. It is good to see also that some people are working and some things are moving. Good. Development of secure sales channels is a challenging part, I guess. I could not find the organic potatoes, which, I was told at the booth, can be found in the Ramstore supermarket.


Monday, October 22, 2007

wine festival

There was the first Wine Festival in Skopje this weekend. Macedonia has good wines, but not so well known. More marketing efforts are required in general and I would say this was a good first step. Although the event size was small this time, but in terms of location and set-ups, it was very well done to create a sophisticated image. It was on a riverbank, few steps down from the main squre, next to the stonebridge, and a white-cloth roof covered event booths, which made the whole event look a bit hidden and something exclusive and special. Several Macedonian wine brands were exhibited at the booths and you can try them around with a glass you can get at the entrance. If the live band were playing jazz, it could be even better.


Friday, October 19, 2007


Dalma serves a kind of fusion cuisine, which is very hard to find in Macedonia. It is a Mediterranean base with a bit of Asian and Caribbean(!?) touch. There are like teriyaki steak or chicken curry. Not bad. Considering there is no other restaurant that serves fusion food in a stylish decor, no wonder expats like the place. Nice to have a variety of tastes. I would say its flan (creme caramel) is excellent.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

tose proeski

Tose Proeski, the biggest pop star in Macedonia and the Balkans, died from a traffic accident yesterday. He was still 26 years old. Whole Macedonia is weighed down by grief, including Prime Minister and President of the country. All Macedonian TV stations are on-airing special memorial programs these 2 days. This atmosphere reminded me the feeling when Yutaka Ozaki died. In both cases, I was in the situation of "ah, yeah... I heard about his name, but not his music...was he that great?" kind. I do not listen pop music much (^ ^; ...


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

japonski filmski festival

From October 11 to today, there was a Japanese Film Festival. Unlike last year, this year's line up was mostly recent work like GO, Ping-pong Onsen, Bright Future, etc. I had never watched Japanese movies as my choice when I was living in Japan, but watching Japanese movies in non-Japanese countries is actually very interesting. Seeing Japanese culture from a different view. Japanese are funny ;-P


Monday, October 15, 2007

david sylvian

There was a concert of David Sylvian this weekend. This weekend was actually four-days weekend because of national holidays, but I stayed in Skopje. Very unusual, no? There was also Japanese film festival, it was quite an eventful weekend. Well, and then, in next weekend, there will be the Skopje Jazz Festival. How busy-

今週末はデイヴィッド・シルヴィアンのコンサートがありました(誰だっけ、みたいな。なつかしのJ-WAVEイメージ)。今週末は4連休で長い週末だったにも関わらず、めずらしくおとなしくスコピエにいました。日本映画際もあったし、なかなかイベントだくさんな週末でした。来週末はなんと! 毎年恒例のスコピエジャズフェスティバル。ああ、なんて忙しいんでしょ。

Sunday, October 14, 2007

taxi's fiskalna smetka

This is actually the first time for me to see taxi's fiskalna smetka. I did not know it exists for taxis until then. What a honest driver.... Did I look like an inspector from the tax office?


Thursday, October 11, 2007

fiskalna smetka

"Fiskalna smetka" is an official receipt that you receive when you paid at restaurant, cafe, and shops. This is a way for Tax Revenue Office to collect correct amount of VAT from shops and restaurants or businesses by using this small machine that records all sales at the shop. If Tax Revenue Office finds out that the shop is not giving fiskalna smetka from the machine to customers (which means the shop is trying to cheat the amount of sales to reduce the tax amount to pay), they close the shop temporarily, putting yellow tapes like photo, as a penalty. Which is why all my places like Bastion and Nobu had been closed lately for a while. I think Fiskalna smetka is a very good initiative and want to encourage them for stronger implementation, but sometimes it is inconvenient such as when my places were penalized....


Sunday, October 07, 2007

roast corn

Like roasted chestnuts, there are roasted corns in Macedonia. Unlike Japanese roasted corns, they do not use soy sauce. Just salt. Hmmm, I should bring my soy sauce and ask them to put it on.... I guess the savory smell of grilled soy sauce would be very much appealing to Macedonian too.


Monday, October 01, 2007

exhibition of japanese handcraft

As one of the Bela Nok events, there was an opening of the exhibition of Japanese handcraft at Skopje Museum, funded by Japan Foundation. It introduces Japanese traditional hand-made craft products such as Imari ware, Bizen ware and Yu-zen, etc. Maybe because it was a part of Bela Nok or because of high interest towards Japanese culture, the venue was filled with people. The exhibition is very exquisite. Good selection of contents and well displayed. Even japonka can enjoy. It will last for 2 weeks. Definitely a must-go event. I hope it will inspire many Macedonian.