It’s been 10 days.  It seems that the 10 months of Albanian training were highly useful; I’ve been able to converse with people that I’ve met, and I’ve understood about 85 percent of what I’ve heard.  Of course, it is the 15 percent that you don’t understand that gets you into trouble, but that’s where Unë nuk flas shqip mirë, me ngadalë, ju lutem comes in handy.  (I don’t speak Albanian well, more slowly, please.)  The blackouts continue daily, but our generator works well.
Cooper has calmed down considerably after five days, and he has responded well to some training.  He is my job; I get about three hours out of the house (he stays in the yard) but otherwise, I spend my time playing, training, trying to take him on walks – he gets spooked by the street dogs – and otherwise keeping him entertained and out of trouble.  It is amazing to me that I can spend so much emotional energy on someone whose only thought is “As soon as he turns his back, I’m going for his shoes.”
Other news: we had our first “diplomatic reception” on Wednesday, a going-away for one of the younger Austrian consuls at a local bar/restaurant.  Wine bar, buffet, throngs of people.  We chatted with some of Abby’s homologut from other embassies and saw people we know from the Hash, and it was quite pleasant, but a long way away from the starched napkin diplomatic dinners of imagination.  I’m still trying to arrange for home internet access, but the company wants 100 euros per month for a subscription.  Our neighbors pay 40 euros.  Albania is known for it’s flexible pricing.