Food for Thought-The Diary of a Macedonian Olive (The First Letter)

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25 April 1957

Belgrade, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Dearest Friend,

The leaves on my morning walk by the Kalemegdan* are that glorious shade of green; a green known only among the olives of southwest Macedonia* and in the jealousy of Bulgarian women*. Needless to say, springtime has descended upon the capital with the radiant splendor of a conquering meteorological army.

I write to you today with a question. Actually several questions. One has led to another and other. I’m quite hoping you might bring my queries to a swift conclusion.

Now, let me ask: do you remember the time, when we were in the place, in the village where there were buildings made of stone? I believe the sun was shining and clouds were far above our heads. As the wind blew, the people of this village walked by and greeted us. If memory serves, rocks were on the road and strewn about the “sidewalk” where we journeyed. Upon this road, we saw a brown horse. I believe the horse was going left.

When mid-day approached, you mentioned going to a place, in a building, where people served food in exchange for money. Do you know the place, the one with the tables, chairs, and cutlery? Adjacent to our window, where plates were brought containing food, we heard the singing of a bird. It is this bird which sings through the clear corners of this remarkable day. Was the bird a Picus Viridis*?

I humbly await your reply.

Yours truly,

V

*the Kalemegdan is an ancient military fortress (now park) where the Sava River joins the Danube
*Macedonian olives are known to be particularly green
*Bulgarian women are known to be jealous, at times
*Picus Viridis is the common European Woodpecker

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