Skip to main content


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! 

Popular posts from this blog

50 Ways to Make Some Money

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…

Petrela Castle

This is Petrela Castle near Tirana. The site has been fortified since the 4th century, but the oldest surviving parts are from the 13th century. Today the castle is a restaurant where you can enjoy lunch while taking in the views.

Big in Albania

Ask me how much I knew about Albania before coming here and my list would be a short one: Enver Hoxha, bunkers and Sir Norman Wisdom. I have no idea when or how I acquired this extensive body of knowledge, but the association of Norman Wisdom with Albania was by far the most interesting part of it.I remember watching Norman Wisdom's old films on British television. My parents were fans of his wholesome, slapstick comedy, but apparently missed the ideological significance of Pitkin's relationship with Mr Grimsdale. Pitkin, the downtrodden and oppressed representative of the workers, triumphed every time over his capitalist oppressor, Mr Grimsdale - and he got the girl. It took a theorist of Hoxha's insight and profundity to discern this deeper political message.It always seemed tremendously unlikely, yet the story of Sir Norman's fame in Albania has been reported in worthy sources like the BBC, the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. According to the Guardian, when Wisdom…