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Final Push

The rain started in the early afternoon yesterday, which was unfortunate for the two coalitions as they prepared for their end of campaign rallies. Fortunately, it did not get too heavy and there was still a good turnout for both events later that evening. Unfortunately, it was difficult to see much through all the umbrellas.

The PD had the better location and the better presentation, including a laser display which projected the party logo and the Vote Olldashi logo onto the backdrop and on to the Tirana International Hotel - not sure if they asked permission for that.

For some reason their background music was a continuous loop of something that sounded like 80's disco music. Since they were next to the mosque and since it was Friday night, at one point the music was competing with the call to prayer drifting across the square. This greatly improved the music and if someone has the wit to record the two together, it could be the next big thing.

After introducing the coalition's candidates for Tirana, each of the leaders of the parties in the coalition spoke before Olldashi took the stage. I believe that Berisha also turned up and spoke but I had moved on to see the PS rally by that stage.

The PS presentation was not as slick, but they did have a screen up onto which they projected images of the speakers and the crowd, so at least everyone could see what was happening. Their music was something too modern for someone of my generation to identify, but before each speaker said his piece we had a brief blast of 'We Will Rock You' by Queen - not sure if they were paying royalties on that.

At both rallies the crowd was very diverse - young, old and middle-aged, husbands and wives, smart and casual. Take away the flags and the banners and I could not have told you which crowd was supporting which party.

This being Albania, the whole thing ended with fireworks. Below are a few photographs from each event. Unfortunately, it was dark and my little camera wasn't quite up to the conditions, but I hope they give some idea of the evening.

For those of you who care about these things, this is a socialist firework


Anonymous said…
"For those of you who care about these things, this is a socialist firework"
Anonymous said…
"For those of you who care about these things, this is a socialist firework"
bryan-in-greece said…
Yes, most of the sparks seem to be heading off to the left...!!
Even though it seems a good idea for somebody to come up with a big thing, such as a combination of the music played at the PD meeting, I would be careful with sugesting it. You are in the Ballkans, everything can be a good reason to start a fight.
I like the pic. of "socialist firework"
Anonymous said…
All this hoopla for a bunch of mayors with insignificant budgets? I guess the roof must be leaking somewhere else. Care to enlighten us?
Ll.T. said…
Ok OMIT, you were the observer so we impatiently await your report :)
Anonymous said…
Hey anonymous. What is that suppose to mean?!.. It takes time to start borrowing left and right, and build up big budgets. I hope you come from a big budget city, so you can show it off.

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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…