Tuesday, December 25, 2007

happy holidays

Will be on vacation for few weeks in the tropics. Have a happy new year and see you next year.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Xmas tree

Amazingly, the Xmas tree at the Macedonian Square is already ready before Catholic Christmas this year (last year, it was ready after Dec. 25. It was still ok because Macedonian Christmas is in Orthodox calendar). Besides, this year's tree looks better than past 2 years. It is even different color during the day. City spent some money on this this year, I guess.


Thursday, December 20, 2007


Since it has been freezing cold, the snow from last weekend still remains fully here and there. This scenery is from a southern part of Macedonia, near Prilep.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I have been proposing to use rakija to remove shibu (bitterness) from Macedonian japonsko jabolko (persimmon/ kaki in Japanese), but there is other Japanese who proposed and actually implemented the drying method to remove the shibu. It is called "making hoshigaki (dried persimmon)". Now it becomes a selling product in Macedonia. Valandovo is a famous region for producing kaki (japonski jabolki), and this Japanese person bought many of them from there and brought them to a village he lives in. Getting help from people in the village, everything was peeled and dried. And now it becomes a value added product. It actually tastes good, exactly same like very good Japanese hoshigaki. I hope this method will spread out to whole Balkans so that they can eat kaki without bitterness and enjoy the sweetness. Very useful "technical transfer".


Monday, December 17, 2007

snow in skopje

Seems there was snow in Skopje during the weekend. It is freezing cold this week.... Unlike last year, this winter will be tough and long. I have to get away from this weather to the tropics soon.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

arosa, swiss

A weekend trip to a ski resort in Switzerland. It was beautiful weather.


Thursday, December 13, 2007


Turshija is like "tsukemono" in Japanese dish. It is pickled vegetables. It is also called a "winter salad" because it used to be made for winter during when there were no fresh vegetables sold in markets. My suggestion to Macedonian is to use daikon for turshija. Seeing from that they eat carrot turshija, they would like daikon turshija also.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

republic of vevchani

"Republic of Vevcani" is actually a municipality of Republic of Macedonia. But they had strong tendency to be independent, even once held a referendum. They even have a passport and money. Well, it is actually a passport and money for tourists for the famous Vevcani carnival, which are held in January every year. In 2008, it will be from January 12 to 13. About the carnival, you can see this information: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/326486/
I gotta go and check out. Is it like as much ethnic as Galicka svadba??


Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Sheep walking and crossing a road like this is very common scene in Balkan. It happens even near the capital city... I, an urban Japonka, had never seen sheep this close except in a zoo until I came in this region.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

tank blockers

On the way to St. Prohor Pcinski from Vranje, you will find these triangle-shape concrete blocks. Apparently they are tank blockers used during the war (eh, the recent war?)... sounds like very much a sight of Serbia.