In these unusual times, we are living in, there will never be too many opportunities to see beyond current difficulties and catch a breath of fresh air to foster our imagination and look ahead.
Currently, transportation services are in standby, or at least significantly decreased in terms of frequency. Gaining a glimpse of insight into international train connections is a nice way to think of better upcoming days, from Thessaloniki in Greece to Niš in Serbia via Skopje on the one hand, and from Skopje to Pristina in Kosovo on the other hand.
While entering Skopje train station, there is an impression of landing in an abandoned theater stage lacking half of its sets and most of its acting company. The theater play would have been our world without the complications arising from the current pandemic situation hitting our societies quite harshly. Offices’ doors are wide open on empty corridors, while tickets sale staffs look to be desperately expecting customers. On the entire ground floor, a blinding lighting system strengthens this impression of being in a genuine no man’s land.
Outside exceptional circumstances, connections between Serbia and Greece via Skopje are actually a seasonal offer, from June to September. Right now, these travel opportunities are suspended because of the current sanitary circumstances. The connection to Kosovo is running independently of the seasons, but it is also currently on hold for the same reason. Currently, it is possible to travel from Skopje to several cities: Kumanovo, Bitola, Tabanovce (at the Serbian border), Veles, Gevgelija, and Kičevo.
However, while walking on the platform, there is no sight of passengers train, which added to the atmosphere of the moment. Heaps of creative imagination is necessary regarding this seemingly ghost train station to forecast how this facility will eventually come back to life.
Let’s think of an upcoming time when this tough time will be over, and we will find back a context with a warmly appreciated widening scope of destinations to travel. Imagination could be defined as being the twin sister of hope. So imagine, maybe not dragons as it is already taken, but perhaps whatever makes you happy or inspired!
Jules Striffler (with the kind support of Josip Gegaj)