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Swedish Garbage - Norwegian Cement

Here in the car crime capital of Europe it seems that some of the local gangs are no longer satisfied with Italian registered BMW’s and German registered M-B’s. Recently, a Swedish bin lorry was sighted in the country. Someone stole this vehicle from Sweden and drove it across at least five countries before arriving in Albania. Assuming the Swedish municipality whose bin lorry was stolen noticed that it was missing and informed the appropriate authorities, it is a little worrying to think that something as big and distinctive as a bin lorry managed to cross Europe without the various customs officials and Euro Knackers spotting it.

Meanwhile, other enterprising thieves – or perhaps the same ones – recently visited Norway. While there they stole a concrete mixer. Once more, they drove this vehicle across Europe – at least six other countries this time – without detection. When its presence was eventually noticed and reported the Norwegians decided that they wanted their lorry back and asked the local plods to recover it. They refused – on the not entirely unreasonable grounds that the lorry was in the possession of a local mafia boss. I will leave it to your imagination to decide why he wanted a concrete mixer. The Norwegians were undeterred and sent one of their own boys in blue to do the deed. Backed up – discreetly - by the locals, Constable Olaf reclaimed the mixer for Norway.

I’m not sure what they plan to do with it. Drive it back to Norway? Does the cop have an HGV licence or did they bring a Norwegian driver too? If they do, no doubt they will be stopped by every customs and police officer between Tirana and Oslo. Or perhaps they could sell it locally. Albania has its share of those people – self-absorbed egotists – who like driving large pointless vehicles. The large pointless vehicle of choice is usually a Hummer, but Tirana already has some of these. A concrete mixer might just be the next big thing. Or maybe they can find a local NGO with a desperate need for a concrete mixer and give it to them as a gift from the people of Norway.

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Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

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