A pair of identical twins in North Macedonia have reunited after years apart.
‘It was like looking in a mirror,’ Trajche Ordev recalled the chilling moment he saw his brother for the first time in 18 years.
Trajche and Sasho Zlatev were born on April 8, 1968, in Štip to a single mum who could not afford to raise two children.
Word spread in the rural region of central North Macedonia where she lived, and soon she was contacted by a married couple who wished to adopt one of her boys.
A few months after his birth, Trajche ended up in a new family – and with a sister.
But his new parents divorced three years later and he eventually ended up in the care of social services in the village of Lezovo, about 80 miles from the capital city of Skopje.
Just before his 18th birthday, Trajche visited a café in the town of Probištip after he was told one of the waiters there looked just like him.
This entire time, the two brothers had worked just a few miles apart, but had not met.
‘I was working in a mountain restaurant and my twin brother, who I did not know was my brother, worked in a café in Probištip called the Golden Barrel,’ Trajche told Balkan Insight.
‘I had a girlfriend back then and she called me saying, “You are lying to me, you do not work in the mountain”.
His girlfriend insisted that he was lying to her and that in fact he worked in the Golden Barrel.
To prove her wrong, Trajche decided to visit the café – a trip that turned his life as he knew it upside down.
Sasho knew the truth from an early age but never knew how to make contact with his long lost twin.
For Trajche, it was disbelief as the two had different surnames and, different dates of birth, at least on paper.
It took some time but after several meetings, the twins became inseparable. Now aged 55, they visited the decrepit house in Štip where they were born – and then separated.
A few years after getting married, Trajche received a surprise visit from a woman claiming to be his birth mum.
‘She cried and embraced me,’ he recalled. But, he stressed feeling ‘indifferent’.
‘We speak over the phone and we meet sometimes, but I do not consider her my mum. I lost my mum, the woman who adopted me, six years ago.’
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