Re: Family is thinking about moving to Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
Hey no problem at all. I actually had fun there. Went to night clubs and partied with the folks and made the most of my 6 months there. Just be careful if you are out driving in the country side. There are packs of wild dogs that roam all over that place, especially up north near the Serbian border. They don't really mess with you, but we still stayed away from them.
Also it seems like everybody has a gun, even kids. I was out driving to an OP once and some 7 year old kid pulled out a pistol and aimed it at me. I drew mine and pointed it back at him and he ran off. I wasn't expecting that. Most of the homes I stopped in had guns in it like pistols and shotguns and AK-47s. The folks loved to show me their guns and wanted to hold our M4s and 9mm and SAWS. We would let them, after removing our ammo of course.
About the only real ugly part is a huge trash dump about 3 miles South of Kumanovo. It is horrible because it is huge stinks real bad. My main HQ OP was near it and we hated when the wind blew north and we could smell it. The saddest thing about it is there were hundreds of people sifting through all that trash looking for whatever. Most of them look sickly. I don't know if they had jaundice or not, but many of them had yellow eyeballs and they had babies with them and young kids and all they would do all day is sift through the trash and fight with the dogs over food scraps. It was very pitiful.
Yeah I had read up on gun laws in Macedonia and found that pretty much everyone carries. I was looking for hunting laws but couldn't find those.
For great info on do-it-yourself auto repair and maintenance:
(warning: When getting into the harder areas some car knowledge is recommended)