Vanessa Herrick's Kosovo Report
Vanessa Herrick
is a Canadian journalist reporting in Kosovo and Montenegro. You can reach her at vanessa_herrick
Posted 09.10.08
Pristina, Kosovo



PRISTINA, KOSOVO | [EDITOR'S NOTE: Vanessa Herrick recently returned from Pristina, Kosovo, where she wrote for an English-language newspaper. She also reported for a newspaper in Montenegro. She is currently based in Montreal.]

PRISTINA, KOSOVO | When I arrived back in Montenegro from Kosovo last month I was frazzled, stressed, and exhausted. I had an hour to get ready for a party at the American ambassador's house. I shivered my way through a shower and loved it as it was yet again 44 degrees in Podgorica. I then decided I would quickly wax my legs quickly before heading out.

This did not go as I had envisioned. The plan was: five minutes to wax my legs, ten minutes to get dressed, and another five for hair and make-up.

The wax did not cooperate with my 20-minute out-the-door plan. I happily stuck a long sticky strip to one leg, and proceeded to attempt to rip it off quickly, as you are meant to do.

The wax stayed stuck to my leg -- the strip came off completely bare.

I found myself with a large amount of incredibly sticky, luminous green phlegm like lumps all over my right calf.

In a panic, I tried to rub it off and got the sticky green gunk all over my hands, from where it seemed to spread, my wrists, my hair -- things were not going well, at all.

I attached another strip to the green stripe thinking that it would rip right off, taking the wax with it. And it did

With skin attached to it,

The result was a fetching striped effect of green stain and raw pink skin.

Have I mentioned the US ambassador is about forty and looks like a tall, blond Tom Cruise? Not my thing (I am so done with Tom Cruise look-alikes), but still...

I tried to convince myself that my cocktail dress was long enough to cover up the gory mess my leg had become and whipped it on.

The beautiful silk dress, that my very generous mother had loaned me (the same one that I had bled all over not long ago after the mugging) was now firmly attached to my raw, bloody leg.

The car taking me to this event was arriving in seven minutes.

Things did not improve.

I found blood stains on one of my cream high heels (the mugging again), my dress was adhered to my body in a very strange fashion and refused to shift, the strips of raw skin were slowly turning into an angry red rash, my hair, which had been washed well over an hour before, was refusing to dry -- and I had left all my eye make-up in Kosovo.

And that is how I went to meet the American ambassador.

Au naturel -- wet hair, no make-up, peeling, bleeding green skin and bloody shoes.

And to add insult to injury the party was outdoors in a lovely garden, infested by mosquitoes,

Which I picked out of the wax on my leg before bed.

It's a glamorous life.