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Another Use for Raki

Yesterday's Scotsman carried a Reuters story about Skender Prushi from Lac who owns a miniature copy of the Koran. Those who want to handle the little book have to wash their hands in raki first.

The National Examiner has a story about Rubena Sukaj, an Albanian volleyball player, now playing in the US.

Thanks again to Stephen Tanghe who drew my attention to a couple of pieces from the New Yorker. The first is a short story by Kadare, 'The Albanian Writers' Union as Mirrored by a Woman', and the second is an interview with Kadare.

Stephen also supplied a link to a series of articles on Albania from the Atlantic Monthly, published over a thirty year period from 1963-1993. Unfortunately, a subscription is required to view these articles, but local libraries may have access.

Finally, Paddie Holdsworth sent me a piece on Kruja that she wrote for the Yorkshire Gazette & Herald.


DAI said…

The other day I tried in vain to send you a comment about your great pics of "Autumn in the park", but had Internet problems......Anyway, I was suggesting that they were worth celebrating with a shot of raki (the home produced one, of course! ...;-)

Thanks for the great work of yours about the news collection about Albania!
Alwyn said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
ourmanintirana said…
Your welcome. Sorry I haven't been in touch - food poisoning. Maybe I need some medicinal raki.

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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.


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.

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The death of communism in Albania brought a flourishing market economy to life just as it did across Central Europe and Russia. On the streets of Tirana people are buying and selling, trading goods and services in predictable, or sometimes novel, ways. The shops are the most obvious expression of this. The streets are lined with little stores selling almost everything you could want. Freed from the choking grip of state bureaucracy Albanians are now at liberty to buy whatever they can afford. No matter how absurd the demand, someone will create the supply. Hence the preponderance of shoe stores in this city of muddy streets and torn up footpaths. Especially outlandish is the fashion for high heeled white boots - about as impractical a style of footware as could be imagined. Dotted across the city are the market stalls, sometimes just one person selling bananas, elsewhere a whole street lined with sellers of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and spices. Those who cannot bring thei…