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124: Tirana City. 2012/9/2

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[Tirana, capital of Albania = photos.]

Today is about Tirana City.  Despite of whatever LP says, it isn’t an attractive city.  Honestly, I wondered how come the author could write so ravingly about how vividly colorful Tirana is.  It isn’t.  And yeah, I saw some of the painting on the outer walls of various buildings, and they don’t have such joyously eye-opening effects the book led one to believe.

Well, check out the photos I made.  I really tried.

Scott came together with me.  Tourist information is closed today, since it’s Sunday.  The weather was hot.  The one thing that interested me was the mosaic portrait of figures representing various eras of Albanian high on the façade of History Museum: it has the socialist/ communist kind of enthusiasm, and everyone has a gun.

We walked onward and saw the Pyramid, which was in a devastated stated.  When we returned to the big boulevard, we saw a first succession of cars for a wedding, which turned out to be the first of probably five or even more such successions we see today.  We also witnessed a new couple dancing with their guests in front of the university.  All these celebrative groups have a cameraman with them, and the cameraman working for this dancing group turned his camera on me for probably half a minute – maybe this exotic passerby will bring some good luck?

(I forgot to warn him that this exotic creature is a total jinx.)

We eventually reached an LP-recommended restaurant.  The service was great, and the food was lovely too.  During the course of the meal Scott asked if there’s any place I visited I’d like to live in or at least re-visit.  I didn’t think for long before answering “none,” and Scott asked how come I had “such negative ideas” and if I “really enjoy traveling.”  That was a surprise.

Another mild surprised was that, when we stood in front of a body and health product store, he compared me to a happy, muscular topless man hopping out of water.  “You’re just as strong as he.”

Later we tried to find buses or furgons to Kruja, but we only found a place for buses for Frusha Kruja.  And since the people standing there were only repeating the price without being able to understand other questions, I decided to wait until tomorrow.  Then Scott went for his haircut, and I returned home to fetch my computer for the wireless connection in a nearby café.

The café has air-conditioning, but it smelled like quite some cigarettes.  I eventually sat outside, and it was ok for me, but of course cars passed by loudly from time to time.   During a phone call, a man came to me and asked me in accented but clear Mandarin whether I’m Chinese.  I told him no.  (Yeah, as Courtney and Scott asked, I could’ve said “No, I’m Taiwanese,” but I’ve met so many people who, upon hearing “Taiwan,” would say “Oh! Thailand!” and maybe “Thailand! boxing!”  So many.  Do excuse me for being a bit fatigued about that.)

I started to get some feedback about my Colombia/ Ecuador itinerary from a CSer in Quito.  And it isn’t easy to sort everything out.

When I returned, I found Scott in Courtney’s place, and there was another fellow teacher of theirs, Tiara.  I didn’t get to talk to her at all, actually, but Courtney was certainly someone great at keeping the atmosphere, and it was fun to hear them discuss Texan accent among other American accents, as well as some crazy politicians in America.  Oh, and how effective the language training system of Mormon missionaries seem to be.

The gang decided to go out for dinner.  I went as far as the supermarket and decided to declare that my stomach didn’t feel well enough to join them.  Instead, I enjoyed a tiny bit of yogurt and oatmeal carefully while reading some South American information saved from the internet earlier.

9/2記帳:1EUR = 137.45ALL1MKD = 2.2ALL1ALL = 0.45MKD1TWD = 3.699ALL1ALL = 0.272TWD
中餐:700 ALL



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