DIY EMBASSY Part 1 of 3

Kosovo gained independence from Serbia two years ago. Not everyone recognized that independence, but of the few countries that initially did, Ireland was one. As you may have heard, the Irish economy is a bit of a car wreck at the moment so they can’t afford to extend their goodwill to Kosovo and establish an embassy. We’re Irish and reasonably diplomatic so we decided to fill the void.

Now in order to be an ambassador there are a few basics you’ve got to cover. One you’ve got to get yourself a pad that reflects your country’s standing in the world. In Prishtina that’s easy as large parts of the city are abandoned–slash–too expensive for the locals. We managed to rent the former US Embassy for a song by simply choosing the option of taking it unfurnished and unheated. Prishtina is almost a mile above sea level and in winter the temperature drops below 50 degrees, so yes we’re ambassadors and we live in a mansion big enough to house a village, but we’re not shimmying round in short-shorts and polo shirts, drinking ice-tea on the veranda. No sir.

Our neighbors are the US Ambassador, the British Embassy, the German Embassy, the Turkish Embassy, and the Bulgarians, whose embassy is so small it looks like a half-finished granny flat, built for a tiny grandmother whom nobody loved.

So far, about one week into our ambassadorial career we’ve been busying ourselves trying to convince people that we’re legit, and also not get evicted for throwing parties. Most people in Prishtina live with their parents until they get married so since they found out we had a big empty mansion in town, they’ve been calling round to smoke joints and mooch our booze. Now that’s fine but the other night half the town came over. The US Ambassador’s attache complained that we were “louder than a disco.” We had to bring him over for tea and biscuits the next day, and avert our first major diplomatic incident.

Also, the British are spying on us. We found a Cadbury’s wrapper in the front garden. But even still we invited them round for our grand opening: Two TV crews, three national newspapers and a whole bunch of kids desperate for the anthems to finish so they could get inside the house and skin up. The German embassy sent their intern along to the opening to suss us out, and the British sent over their consul. She wouldn’t accept any drinks we offered her. My bet is MI5 warned her that we might spike her tea with truth serum, or roofies. She did have a handful of biscuits though which makes me think she must have been the person responsible for the Cadbury’s wrapper.

If anyone wants to come visit please do. Next week, we’re hosting a shamrock planting ceremony and turning the town’s river green. And by then we’re hoping the reggae marathon in the attic will have ended.

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