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I flew into Skopje the day after attending the Vienna State Opera's performance of Rossini's "The Italian Girl in Algiers" [wonderful singing and production!]. The second visit felt like coming home. We began, of course, by eating a marvelous lunch prepared by Ruza, including TOMATOES. Thus began two weeks living and working in Macedonia. As you see in the picture on the right there is a new family member, a sweet-tempered Dalmatian named Leo.

On the right: Nata, Ruza, Niki, Ilyia and LEO! [taken at Matka Canyon near Skopje]

Working and living in a country sets up a different rhythm. The Macedonian custom of a big meal around 3pm followed by a nap was an easy one to honor! [The ouzo with the tomato salad helped too.]
On the left: Nata & Leo. Below: 'Nazdravie!' Eating [again] at Nata's maternal grandparent's house.

On the right: Nata at Matka!
Below: Ruza and Ilija dressed for a night on the town [I pooped out around 2:30am... they kept going!!]