The new Electrical Officer was settling down into a good, healthy, theraputic
rant. We had just taken departure and I was watching the plant as we ramped up
in speed, sipping a cup of Earl Grey.
"Ahh, you Americans. You try to force to give Kosovo its own country, but that
is because you don't know situation. You don't know, ehh ye bente mata [sp?].
Kosovars? There are no Kosovars! They are Albanians. Albanians! During the
war, they were f@cked, it was a very bad time, they fled across the border to
Serbia. Ya, so what was Serbia to do? So Serbia, she said, 'Yes, please, I am
good person, you can stay here for some time, maybe make some small house on my
land.' MY LAND. The land was Serbia, they did not give these Albanians the
"So these Albanians, these Kosovars as you say, they build house, they settle
down. The war is over, but they don't go home. They don't go home! You know
what they do?"
"Have babies?" I offered.
"Ahhh ya bente! They have 25 babies each one. 25! And each of those babies
have 25. And so soon there are millions of them. One man, he has 25 children,
and they have 25 children, but they are still one family, this grandfather, he
is the head of this ... this ..."
"Clan? No. Yes. Something like clan. But this grandfather, he is like a god,
he say this, that. And then he build more houses. Here, here, here and here,
more houses, but it is not his land. It is MY land! Well, not mine, I am not
Serb, but you know what I say.
"So this Serb, he say to these Albanians, you may not build more houses. This
is my land. It is time for you to go home, to your land. And you know what
these Albanians say? Do you??? They say 'bessa'! Bessa! You what mean bessa?
It means to you, ciao bella. YES! Cia bella to you for three hundred years.
To you, your son, your daughter. Your line ends ... in blood. Bessa.
"So now these Albanians, they come, they cry, 'We want our own country' and
America says, ohh??? Democracy? This is good. Serbia is bad. We must bomb
them to make Kosovo free. Ah, ye bente. You know what this is like? I've been
to Houston many times, I work shuttle tankers for twelve years. Mexicans
everywhere in Texas. What, ten, twenty million of them. Then they say, oh,
this is our land, we want country for our own. You think America just give them
Texas??? You think Europe bomb America for these Mexicans? NO WAY! NO WAY!
But Serbia, this is different story."