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Tirana Gets Real

The American is a monthly magazine published in Italy for US and other English speaking expats. Their June 2006 issue included this lengthy story on Tirana.


Anonymous said…
That article is written by someone who knows close to nothing. I stopped reading after this paragraph that makes Rama into the importer of automobiles and builder of blloku:

"Until Rama, Tirana had few automobiles, many unpaved roads, and less than 100 street lights. Elected in 2000, he imported Italian products and French ingenuity to adorn now-flourishing boulevards. He erected a hip concrete-and-glass district (its center is called Blloku, or “The Block”) near the once-off limits villa of dictator Enver Hoxha, the disciplinarian plutocrat who for four decades isolated himself from his capital and his country from the world."
Anonymous said…
Where the hell did they get this info? I hate people who take a quick look at Tirana from Tirana International and then proceed to write a 3 page article based on random collections of what others have written.

It is not hard to write a good article about Tirana and one can do that without being biased. Start with the government (central and local), follow it with the foreigners (foreign NGO employees would be a good idea here), then with a couple of quick conversions at Blloku and then wrap it up with common people at Lapraka, Qyteti Studenti or the edge of the city next to Dajti. Very simple, top to bottom.

Incompetent, lazy, imbeciles :(

Anonymous said…
I meant to write "conversations" not "conversions", let's not get into the whole religious theme :)
ローラ said…
I couldn't finish it either. Aside from being utterly pretentious and grossly misinformed, it was so condescending that made me throw up a little in my mouth.
Anonymous said…
As someone who wants to know more about Albania I quite liked it. Unfortunately there are not enough articles on Tirana and Albania in English and most outsiders know very little about the country. Those who criticise should write some articles to give what they consider to be a truer picture of the people and places.

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Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

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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.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.

Miss Globe 2007

On Saturday, we were at the Rogner meeting with an expat friend who was leaving Tirana. It was breakfast time, and as our friend was finishing his tea the breakfast room started to fill up with over-dressed (or under-dressed) young women wearing blue sashes. These were the contestants for the Miss Globe 2007 beauty pageant being held in Tirana tonight at the Palace of Congresses. High heel boots and mini-skirts - or in a couple of cases micro-skirts, or possibly just belts - have never struck me as obvious breakfast attire, but the girls seemed happy enough tottering and wobbling around with their tea and toast. I'm not sure why they were wearing their sashes - perhaps in case they forgot which country they came from.
As we were leaving they were boarding a large coach which I had seen a number of times around the city in the last few days for their next trip. I'm not sure how some of them made it up the steps, or how they managed to sit down, but perhaps these are the kinds o…