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Look how few cars! The new fruit of 1995

TIRANA (1995) ......Of course, when I arrived, I had no idea where I was.x.I stopped a policeman for help with finding a hotel. My main concern was how much was a taxi.x.Taxi?x.There was no need for that. He blew a whistle, flagged down the first car he saw, and I was taken to the hotel.

I wasn't sure how to find my friends who lived in Tirana when I heard two women on the street speaking English. I asked for help. An Albanian RPCV, with a wealth of knowledge, directed me to an expat restaurant hangout. At the Stephen Center, the waiter, Koli, was able to draw a map to David's house. He wrote in Albanian how to ask for help getting on the proper bus. Finally, he said if I couldn't find David, I could stay at his home and he would take me in the morning. I was again amazed by Albanian hospitality.

David wasn't home. He and his family had just settled down for a meal at the Stephen Center. Koli let them know I was in town. I was rescued, had a great meal, washed clothes, and finally got some needed rest.

And on the second visit, 14 years later, a lot had changed.

MARTIN

Satellite Dishes opened up the world to Albanians
Copyright 1995 and 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.