a hoi all!

This weekend I’m in Kosovo to speak about SELinux at SFK 10.
Yesterday I went to our weekly hacker space meeting and missed the last train home, so stayed there all night. So with only one hour of sleep I got on the train to Brussels. As always, public transport fucked me over again, I had to pay 2euro extra when I arrived at the airport for some stupid reason nobody understands.

Anyway, after 3 gate changes we could finally board the Swiss airlines flight to Zurich. The plane was an noisy AVRO RJ100. We all got a sandwich, and a soda. Just before we landed, we all got some Swiss chocolate. yummie yummie! Next to me there were some other Flemish guys who I started talking to. He ended up writing down my phone nr, because he was maybe interested in what I did. I like the way he thinks, haha :-)

Luckily I have no luggage with me, so I didn’t had to worry about that when I switched flights in Zurich. This time the plane was an Airbus 320-214. Nice plane but I had the impression that the chairs were placed closer together.  There are a lot of screaming and crying children and babies on the flight to Pristina. That IS annoying :(. We all got a /fresher/ sandwich and soda. And before the landing again the chocolate.. I should fly Swiss more.. I never got something from Brussels Airlines, so that was nice :P

Alket and Gent picked me up at the airport. After some 500m I already realized that Belgian roads are actually pretty good.. And they also know what traffic jams are :-(
Anyway, it turned out that we are hosted at the dorms. New building. But the the finishing touch was missing.. or maybe they have another opinion about quality.. After a fast refreshment I went together with Martin drink some local beer in a more or less modern bar. The strange thing was that they understood ‘local’ beer as hot beer.. wtfbbq? I had to ask for chilled beer, and he looked to me like I came from another universe :x..

In the evening we went for food together with an Italian guy from the dorms. Food is really really cheap here, but not ‘super’. Care, it’s not like you have to pay a lot of money for it.. We discussed some politics in Europe and our countries, and we decided that the Scandinavian way of governing is the best in Europe.

After dinner I went with some FLOSSKies to the university to find Mike who was trying to get everything fixed. It was the first time that I saw him, but I got the impression that he really is a smart man. But also someone with an own will..

The second day we left around 8h30am to the university again, together with Martin. We went for breakfast to ‘Route 66′. This must have been the first time I had a burger and french fries for breakfast. At 10am the organizing board started the conference. It was a bit of a shame that some organizers only spoke Albanian. Last time I checked my Albanian was very bad, haha.

I filled the day with presentations and hanging out with the FLOSSKies. Something that struck me was that even engineering students don’t speak decent english.. I think that that’s a point where they have to work on if they want to make it on the international market. I had some fedora swag with me, and found out that I’m not Fedora ambassador, but a Facebook ambassador.. hmm, not a question I was expecting on a technical orientated event.  In the evening SFK10 had organized a nice dinner for all speakers, and important visitors. After the dinner we went to drink some peja’s (the beer). We (Martin and I) went back to the dorms around 11pm because he had to leave on Sunday in the morning. There I saw Heroid, and we decided to go out in the city. The only bummer was that all bars close at midnight in Pristina. I mean, wtf? :-( We decided to go to a night-shop and buy some beer, and we organized our own little party in the dorms.

picutre by Gent Thaçi

8am, after 4hours of sleep, I got up again and took a shower. I went to the venue, and we all had breakfast at the venue. I tried to fine tune my presentation a bit, and took Gent and Ardian (the 2 local Fedora ambassadors there) apart, for a small workshop and some QA time.  The first talk I followed was Rob Savoye’s talk about how to reverse engineer proprietary protocols. Looks difficult and very very boring, and he agreed with my impression. After I gave my talk I asked a bit around what they thought about my presentation and found out that most people thought my presentation is a bit boring.. I’ll try to work on that, but I think it will be hard to make jokes about configuration options :-).

In the evening we went for food, and met up with some important people, and discussed business. Business like how to help Kosovo, and how to make sure Free Software makes a chance there, so they don’t get the Microsoft culture like we have in Belgium. Around 9pm I met up with Heroid and his Niece, and went to a bar. We had some beers, and some fun, coolness all over, isn’t it? ;-) when we went back Jon bought some chips from the night shop, and like last night, we had an after party in the dorms.

The next morning Heroid came knocking on my door at 7am, like WTF.. I cleaned the room, and went downstairs. After we said goodbye to Heroid and Jon, Mike, Leon and me went to a coffee bar where we discussed, you’ll never guess it, BUSINESS. haha. They learned that I’m not an easy guy, but even Leon, an ex MIT professor, thought I had some good ideas. Around 11am I left for the airport, where I met David and told him a bit about what we discussed. yet another guy I need to keep contact with.
Another thing I’ve learned was that air planes can have delays too :-( #30minutes extra in Zurich, without internet, but with electricity. Even in the airport of Pristina I had free internet via WIFI. As you can see, even countries who aren’t that rich are sometimes better than rich countries.

This was the first time I was in Kosovo, but I’ll come, that’s sure. I met a lot of interesting people in Kosovo, and we started making some plans. Things are going to happen! As well in Belgium as in Kosovo. Looking forward to make help make things happen.

photo by 'open world'