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Kosovo

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An abundant and bountiful land, filled with well meaning and peaceful inhabitants, intent on tending their fields and livestock and with no desire for material wealth or large German saloon cars (especially if they've been stolen).

Alternatively this poor and rather grubby province of Serbia is the scene of the greatest con trick in the world, when a bunch of swarthy semi literate 'freedom fighters' with noms de guerre like 'Komandant Rambo' or 'Komandant Remi' suceeded in getting the most powerful military alliance in the world to fight their campaign for them, and even for a brief moment consider kicking off with the Russians, with real bullets and everything!

Some of the young women are, in all fairness, quite attractive until you realise that dentistry in this part of the world involves pulling all the teeth as early as possible and replacing them with sugar puffs. It's also noticable that there hasn't been the trend in Albanian army wives in quite the same way that British involvement elsewhere gave rise to a number of marriages to undeniably cute Bosnian women.

The combination of bowl like geography and the presence of cutting edge 1960's Soviet power station technology means that the air quality in this peaceful corner of the world is truly something to behold.

The 'capital' of Kosovo is Pristina, and even a short visit there will convince anyone of the need to shoot every single town planner on the face of the earth. The two main estates are the Dardanija and Ulpijana, both horrendous, although residents of the Ulpijana will sniffily tell you that their's was always the better estate and that Dardanija residents have always caused 'problems'. This is an interesting concept since many of the original residents of both estates are now either dead or have fled to Serbia proper, presumably the problem they caused was being Serbian.

Whilst Kosovo legally remains a part of Serbia the question of it's independence has been fudged for the past 6 years with the UN hoping to sort it out when no-one is looking. Unfortunately the riots in March 2004 suggested that the Albanians might not be the sorts to quietly accept a decision they don't agree with. Consequently previous statements that 2005 would be the year that the UN breaks the habit of a life time and actually makes a choice is leading to some pant wetting in some quarters in case the locals don't take too kindly to the outcome.