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Follow Up

Yesterday we visited the Tirana International Hotel where the Press were holed up. In one room there were ranks of them sitting at their laptops but few of them appeared to be doing any work. Some were watching the television which was broadcasting most of the visit live, others were watching the other television which was showing a football match. On the balcony the TV people were sitting around in the shade of their umbrellas chatting.

The unremitting lack of activity might explain why news coverage of the President's visit which I've been checking this morning is so relentlessly bad. The same set of quotes from Bush and Berisha - presumably taken from a press handout. The same predictable summaries about Albania - poverty, pro-American, corruption. The same voxpops, for which most of them seem to have found one person to talk to and then gone back to the hotel.

In case you missed the press conference given by Bush and Berisha a full record is available at the White House website. And if anyone comes across any decent reporting worth mentioning before I do let me know.


Anonymous said…
I was looking for material as well from European sources, but they were really short and I could tell by the tone that they were so jealous!
Why are Europeans so Anti-American? Instead of helping the Us after 9/11 ... They are so wrong!
Anonymous said…
people were glued to the tvs everywhere
our man said…
I haven't seen much of the European Press that's not also available in English and I didn't detect much difference in tone from mainstream American press.

After 11 September Europe was supportive of the US - the US turned down offers of assistance in Afghanistan. It was Iraq - and the management of the lead up to Iraq - that did the damage.

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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.

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

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…