Separating from Ida was more challenging than the last time. I tried not to commit to the next time, but it was impossible.
“I’ll visit you in Denmark whenever I can go back to the Schengen area.”
“I hope I can meet you before.”
That afternoon I met Martin again. If you are following my adventures recently, Martin is a Canadian guy that I met in a small aircraft while travelling to the Canadian Arctic Circle. Martin and I have kept in touch via Facebook and commenting on each other adventures.
The last time we met each other, we were in Greenland. He decided to go back to Canada in the boat with the crew while Jessica and I stayed in the frozen island country.
After going back to Canada, Martin went to Switzerland to manage some family business and then stayed in Spain for a few weeks. While in Spain, he decided to continue as a Digital Nomad for a few months in Europe while the Swiss “important family business” concluded. Since he didn’t want to spend all his Schengen Area days waiting for the “business to settle down,” he decided to tag along and explore with me for a few weeks.
“Why do you want to go to North Macedonia?” I asked him.
“Long story short: My mom and dad divorced when I was five. It took my mom like two years to feel ok to start dating again. She met a lot of pricks after that until she met this guy Toma from Macedonia, who was “studying French” in Montréal. I said “studying” because he worked in a restaurant with a student visa and sent money home”.
“How did he get a student visa?” I asked, intrigued.
“Well, Toma really looked like a student. This was probably in 1998 and Toma was 19. My mom was 29”.
“Wow. No offence, but your mother was a cougar!”
“None taken. The thing is that after all these douchebags dating my mom for years, she met Toma and I saw her happy for the first time. They met in the restaurant he was working.”
“What happened with Toma? Is he your father-in-law now?”
“Ha, ha, ha! No! I wished! Toma was excellent with me and super supportive with mom. He also liked to talk about his country. That’s how I first hear about Macedonia (now North Macedonia) in my life. After two years with a student visa, Toma had to leave or get married to stay. He proposed to my mom, but she was not ready to marry a 21-year-old kid and face my grandparents. My mom just ditched him and she couldn’t recover for years.”
“Man, that should have been tough for your mother.”
“Indeed, she had to go to therapy to forgive herself. She was in love with Toma but was so afraid of the commitment because he was just a kid. She prioritized her social status over her quality of life.”
“Did you see Toma again?”
“Never. The last time I saw him, he was kissing mom when I was a kid at the Dorval airport. Mom didn’t want to talk about him”.
“Man, your mother is still young; maybe they can meet now. Are you trying to be Cupid here?”
“I don’t have any expectations. Even though North Macedonia is a small country, it might be challenging to find a guy I know almost nothing about”.
By the time we were having this conversation, we were on a bus from Tirana to Skopje. We were speaking pleasantly in joual, while my brain felt it was resting for the first time. I didn’t have to make an effort to be understood.
When the conversation finished, a girl sitting behind us reached us in French talking super slowly:
“Excuse me, guys. I don’t know what language you speak, but it seems close to French. I am sorry, but I listened to your conversation.”
“You don’t have to worry. We understand French,” said Martin, interested in what the girl had to say, metropolising his accent the best he could.
“If you are looking for a guy in Macedonia, my sister is a private investigator. Maybe she can help you. She knows everyone there.”
Now North Macedonia seems the place to be!