In one way it was surprising it has taken this long for a serious accident to happen in our street. It's not that the street itself is dangerous - it is straight, wide and well paved. The problem is that because it is straight, wide and well paved it attracts every idiot in a car and on a motorbike in Tirana. Once, I was pleased to see the road being paved, now I wish it was still a rutted dirt track - it was a lot safer then.
I regularly watch cars speeding on this street, overtaking more responsible drivers at high speed, slamming on the brakes for no other reason than the thrill of hearing shrieking rubber and more. Just a few days ago I watched some young fool on a motorbike with his girlfriend on the back - neither wearing helmets - repeatedly riding up and down at high speed pulling wheelies.
The street is often full of kids. As well as those who live in the street and play outside, lots of families heading for the park walk through this way. Yet nothing is ever done. Because there are a number of diplomats living in the area there are regular police patrols. I have never yet seen them ticket anyone; never even seen them stop and talk to someone driving dangerously.
More incomprehensible is that the people living in the area don't do anything. If this was happening where I am from, people would be giving their local representatives and the police no rest until some action was taken. If there was no action they would be putting up their own barriers, taking pictures and videos of these idiots and passing them on to the media, inviting the TV channels to come and report the story, holding a protest rally and blocking the streets.
But here, nothing happens. Can someone explain this to me? Because I don't understand this.
Darwinism in Albania seems to be more efficient then local politicians or the po-police.
Last week I believe an Albanian member of the Parliament (part of the political class you mentioned) was found dead on a car crash scene with his mistress/secretary/hoe. According to the police aftermath it was found that the guy was driving at 170 Km/hour.
very similar reactions take place also in Italy. I wrote about my experience of 2 years ago (my blog archive dated August 13, 2005) about 2 cars crashing against my building, right underneath my bedroom window....I’ve also discussed at length with Italian friends why they don’t react to some unbearable situations in their country, and they all shrugged their shoulders saying “we are powerless dealing with a mass of state employees that doesn’t function and nothing is going to change….”!! It’s very unfortunate, but
Albanians are the same -- they don’t believe in the power of individuals, and after centuries of oppressions, they easily give up!!
In a similar vein, I often wonder at mothers who are more than happy to wheel their tiny offspring along in a pram on the road (not on the pavement), with cars speeding by a few inches from the baby. Never been able to understand that - you would think the motherly protective instinct would be gasping in sheer horror at the danger, but obviously not...
Sorry for the long comment. I got carried away, but just like you, I sometimes can't belive what I see here in my beloved country. So now there is two of us. I know there is more. My hope is that our number is growing daily. Sometimes this hope is confirmed by facts, sometimes it is not. So... let's all hope.
Believe it or not, only an authoritarian ruler can discipline Albanians. Democracy so far has been messy and anarchic.
If the police gave a big fat ticket of 150 bucks to these renegades maybe next time they'll respect the rules.
And yes we do regularly call the attention of the authorities to problems in this area regarding noise, suspicious activity and dumping of rubbish.
It's really unfortunate to still have people who think along your lines.
You are basically saying that "Albanians don't deserve democracy", "Only dictatorship serves them well... "
It's a really nauseating to read comments like these.
Yes, there were no traffic violations during communisms. Crimes against the person/property were quite rare also...
On the other hand we lived in a criminal state. The state was the greatest offender and violator of basic human rights...
/ah.... why do I even bother...
Maybe i was not clear enough. When i said authoritarian, i didnt mean dictatorship. I meant a strong state who will enforce strict laws.
And yes Democracy so far has been messy and anarchic. If those cops did their job and fined bad drivers instead of accepting bribes, Albania would be a better place.
We need strong modern institutions and a strong leader/figure who will take charge.
So, there is something useful you can do with bunkers - and there are Albanians who resist.
I think that boys on motorbikes with their girlfriends (she was actually slim and quite attractive) are a serious problem. The costs to the health system, for example, of traffic accidents is huge.