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Tragically or happily - depending on your point of view - Frederik Ndoci failed to make it through to the finals of Eurovision. Since he was up against belly-dancers, sword-fighters and drag queens that's probably not surprising.

The sword fighters were part of the backing act for Sopho from Georgia. She made it through to the final but I can't help wondering when Georgia became a European country. Israel, I can understand - you wouldn't give the Iraeli entry in a MidEastVision song contest much of a chance of survival, never mind votes.

It seems that the European Broadcasting Union has a rather generous notion of Europe including among its full members broadcasters from the Middle East and North Africa, and having associate members from such unlikely places as Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Chile.

Radio Vatican is also a member, though I don't think they enter Eurovision, which is a shame. A papal Eurovision entry, or a boy band made up of cardinals could go a long way in this competition.


Geoff said…
A portion of Georgia straddles the Greater Caucasus mountains, which is accepted by most as the Southern border of Europe, meaning, like Turkey & Russia, it lies in both Europe and Asia.

It's also a member of the Council of Europe.

And has stronger cultural and historical ties with Europe than Asia.
nick said…
Moreover, Georgians I think are considered a European race...wasnt Stalin Georgian or Not sure if they belong to the slavic group of nations or not. Geographically it's puzzling because they're not in Europe!
ITS said…
Don't you dare to point out that Israel is not in Europe!!! (also in the European soccer world-cup qualifiers)

You will be accused of anti-antisemitism.

/Maybe Europe is just trying to compensate for 3000 years of systematic persecution.
nick said…
"Maybe Europe is just trying to compensate for 3000 years of systematic persecution."

HAHAHA..LMAO...good one.
Fernando Olmos said…
are you still posting from albania? I think your blog is awesome!

check mine at
Alwyn said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
our man said…
Hi Fernando. Thanks. Yes I'm still here in Tirana for a little while longer.

Thanks for your blog details - sorry I don't speak any Spanish so a lot of it goes over my head.

I've never been in Chile but my brother has - Santiago and Punta Arenas(?)- and he loved it. Maybe some day.
Anonymous said…
the Ukranian song has subliminal messages "Russia Goodbye". The transvestite wears sun glasses because he/she is chinese
Anonymous said…
I had to laugh at the points that were awarded to the songs!
You can clearly see that a lot off country vote in block.
You got the Balkan block, the ex-Soviet block or the Scandinavia’s block.
They all vote for each other, no meter what!
Guest where the 12 points from Cyprus went to? Yehhp to Greece!
They do that every year! What’s the point in that?
However, I was surprise to find 12 points of Albania going to Spain.
Also, we awarded 5 points to Ireland! We save them from the embarrassment
of finish with no points, as we were the only country that awarded them points!
Maybe the Irish will rise a pint a Guinness to our jury! 

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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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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.
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