Saturday, November 07, 2009

For the Love of Bill

A few years ago we took a trip through Serbia and Kosovo. It was 2003, so the Kosovo conflict of 1999 and the NATO bombing of Serbia was still fairly fresh.

In Serbia we tried to keep a pretty low profile as Americans, since many Serbs were obviously not too happy about the US having bombed their country. We had a good time in Belgrade, we liked the city a lot and found people very friendly and kind.

But in Kosovo, it was a completely different situation. The city itself is nothing special. Sightseeing in Prishtina consisted of visiting the UN headquarters, the big hotel, the (black) market (ok, that was actually pretty fun), and the money changers - like 20 guys standing around near a bus stop who changed money as a business (ok, that was fun too:) The cool think was that in Prishtina we were very open about being Americans, because since that same NATO bombing, many Kosovars love Americans. We got treated great - we were given free pastries in bakeries and free coffee in cafés, a good price on exchanging money - just because we were American.

America is viewed as having saved Kosovo - and the savior himself is Bill Clinton. And they certainly love him. The main street in downtown Prishtina is named Bill Clinton Boulevard.
Bill Clinton Ave
We even saw his name on random other stuff, like this company which sells marble.
Long Live Bill Clinton!

This past week, for the love of Bill, a 3 meter tall statue of him was erected in the Kosovar capital. Bill himself was there to unveil it.
Here's a video of it, and here is an article, which contains one of the pictures I took back in 2003.

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