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Contemporary Verse from Albania

Thanks to Manos who drew my attention to the online literary journal, transcript. The latest issue is on Albanian poetry. Here, a sample from Parid Teferi├ži.
In a Country as Small as This One
The Albanian Leviathan is a sardine. The sitting rooms where men gather are
tins of sardines. Truth, in order to find space there, has to be folded in two
and then folded again.

In a country as small as this, so small that you could easily
draw it on a one-to-one scale on this packet of cigarettes, you
don't know where and how to sit or support yourself: on the
throat of your neighbour, or on the buttocks of the other
fellow's wife.

Seated, huddled around the coffee table, how can you greet
anyone without jabbing someone else with your elbow? How
can you pay a compliment without deafening someone?

We can see one another in our spoons, and we are warped.


Love said…
The theory of relativity.
Anonymous said…
Any idea why the RSS feed stopped updating since the "A New and European Reality" post on October 4th?
ourmanintirana said…
Hi. I've checked the feed and it seems to be working normally.

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And now the end is near
and so i face nanananana...

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning we will be heading for the airport for the last time. I suppose it was too much to expect that I could have kept this going while getting ready to leave. So apologies for the lack of postings over the last weeks. This is post number 380 something so I suppose one post every two days is not a bad average.

There were probably 380 more in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but many of them are perhaps best left there.

I suppose I should be penning - or typing - my final thoughts and reflections on two years in Tirana, but right now I don't have any. Maybe in a month or two though I might come back with something.

Thanks to all of you who have read this blog - especially those of you who have become regulars. Thanks also for linking and thanks to all who left comments.

As for the other stars of the blog, Bella now has her own …


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…