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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Albanian 9: A quickie

[NOTE: This blog/diary of Mykel's Italian-Albanian trip starts several entries before this one. Due to the oddities of Blogging, the entries appear in reverse order. As much of the reportage is base on the previous days, I recommend reading from the start, at the entry ALBANIA 1.]

Do the best with what you have. If you have a lemon, squeeze it in the eyes of your worst enemy. --Mykel Board

DURRES (Coldsore day 7) or A Short Depressing One

So I decided I was gonna try once more to contact Andi, the guy in Tirana. I left Facebook messages. Tried to call so many times I'm like the guy who doesn't get the hint when the girl doesn't call back, even though she has your cellphone number and must know you called.

If I don't get him, I'll stay in Durres one more day, then fuck it and go south to some resort town. Enjoy the sand and the sea a bit, then go to Tirana for a short visit before going back to Italy and home.

I didn't bring a bathing suit. This is October, for God's sake. How was I to know?

Maybe I'll buy one today. First I look for a post office... takes awhile, but I find one. It's closed. Today is Sunday.

Then I look for an Internet café to upload yesterday's adventures. The first one won't allow me to plug in my own computer, so I just take care of wishing Elena a happy 50th.

I feel really tired, so I go back to the hotel. I checked in another night, figuring I'll go to Vlores early tomorrow. I must be depressed, because I just feel tired and not wanting to do anything. I should be over my jet lag by now, but the lousy events take their toll. Especially my two “friends” in the country, one of whom is avoiding my calls, and the other of whom is a mercenary doctor who wants a big car.

I sleep for a couple hours and awake unrefreshed. I go for a souvlaki lunch. Then to a bar, in the famous Durres tower. I have a cup of coffee and write some more.

After finishing at the coffeebar, I try another internet place. This one lets me upload my whole blog. (That was TWO DAYS AGO.) Then I look for a place to get a bathing suit. Then it starts raining.

Back to the hotel. Another unrefreshing sleep. And it's now 8PM. Yeah, I try calling Andi again, without luck. Out my window, I can see flashes of lightning, but it doesn't sound like it's raining anymore. It will be tomorrow, or something even more horrible I have no idea about right now. Tsunami? A busload of American tourists?

I have a final drink at a night-clubbish place, with loud music, a view of the ocean, and tables mostly filled with all guys or all gals. I order a Tirana, but they don't have one. Becks, Corona or Heineken. This is a hoity toidy place. Imported beer only. I order a Becks.

It's stopped raining. Maybe the beach will be all right tomorrow.

I sit by myself and scribble in my little notebook. I figure people will think I'm an exotic writer and come over and ask what I'm doing. I figure wrong.

When I leave, I take a final walk in this town. On my way back, some guys wave to me. Over 40s, rare in this town of twenty-somethings and old men.

“Po? (Yes?)” I say.

“Deutsch?” shouts the guy who waved.

“American,” I shout back.

They wave me away. “Aber ich spreche Deutsche.”

They call me over. One of them also speaks German. He asks me where I'm staying and where I'm going in Albania. I tell him that I'm going to Vlora, feeling sorry that just as I'm leaving, I'm making a new friend.

“I'm taking the bus tomorrow,” I tell him.

“Why are you taking the bus?” he asks in German. “You should take a taxi. I drive a taxi. It's cheap. Just 70 Euros.”

Jee-zus! I can't get away from this money stuff. Fuck! Well, a day at the beach near Vlora should help things tomorrow. Then it starts to rain again.


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