Cars, Castles, and Toilet Seats: Shkoder

This past Sunday (2 September), Abby and I rented a car and drove to Shkoder, a 2,400-year-old city in the north of Albania. I got my first taste of Albanian driving immediately, as I was passed by two cars while I was stopped at a red light. The highway to Shkoder is one of the better ones in the country – well paved, fairly straight. Unfortunately, for much of the journey, it is a two-lane highway. Under normal conditions, people drive at about 60-100 kmh, depending on the curves, entrances and exits, and so on; this means that you have…

"My Parents Went to Albania and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt."

When Abby and I were here in April, we’d noted that “the kids” all were wearing t-shirts with English phrases on them. It didn’t matter whether the phrases made sense or not – just that they were in English. Some were similar to those I’ve seen in the U.S., such as “Jewels for All Girls, Especially for Me”, but here are my local favorites so far: “Surrender without exception” “Gangsta football team” “Tony Montana Scarface” “Nebraska Impact Volleyball” (apparently, this is a real team) “Pupil Surf”, who was out walking with “Catwalkin’ New York City” “Target Serbia” (with bullseye) and…

Another playdate and President Wilson

Dougall The neighborhood fans waitingacross the street for a glimpseof the new guy To the left you can see Round Two of the boxes we’ve been emptying … anyway, today we took in Dougall, one of Viki and Alwyn’s dogs, while they enjoy a weekend away. Dougall’s arrival excited a lot of local interest, and Cooper was very happy to have a playmate. Abby and I have been eager to have Cooper* socialize with other dogs, in the hope that he’ll calm down and stop chewing on us. However, as before, Dougall wants nothing to do with Cooper. It’s as…