Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Albania: Return to Tirane (Tirana?)

or How My Final Day in Berat Turned into My Final Days in Berat

It all started with a Raki. Have I not yet explained what Raki is? Alright well, Raki is a traditional Albanian drink, enjoyed morning, noon and night by everyone. Funny story about Raki from my bus ride between Albania and Athens but that'll come later. Anyway, the best Raki comes in reused plastic water, coke, fanta, whatever-the-heck-soft-drink bottles. It is made from plums (traditionally, but as I learned later they make it from pretty much whatever fruit they feel like) and goes through a similar process as say, moonshine. Yes, Raki (or Rakija or Rakia depending on where you are in the Balkans) is the socially acceptable, Albanian version, of moonshine. Typically it is had in the morning (or whenever you wake up) with coffee. That's how the locals do it. So when I was offered some Raki the morning of the 12th I thought, "When in ... Albania?" I womaned up and had 2 sips (really that's all I could justify at 9 in the morning... it's also all I could get down. It burns).

As we sat and sipped our Raki the conversation turned to the Manu Chao concert that was to take place that night in Tirana. I had expressed earlier in the week, when I was in Tirana, how great it would be to go to the concert but I didn't actually think I would still be in the country at the time, and certainly not Tirana. The conversation moved so quickly I can't quite remember how it happened but everyone, myself excluded, had decided to go back to Tirana that afternoon to see Manu Chao. I left the room for a moment and when I returned it was suddenly decided that I was going. I insisted that I shouldn't that going back to Tirana would be a ridiculous even though I really, really wanted to see Manu (who wouldn't want to see them perform live? I mean honestly). And then Ashley (random Seattle connection working at the hostel) said the one thing I dread hearing, "What's stopping you?" Gawd. Here I am, traveling the world (or a portion of it), I'm young(ish), no solid commitments, what is stopping me? I couldn't think of anything, or I didn't want to think of anything, to argue with that. So I said, "Fine. Let's do it. Let's just do it." Twenty minutes later I was on a bus back to Tirana. We arrived with enough time to check in to the hostel and grab something to eat.

I will admit I am not a spontaneous person usually. I like plans, outlines, lists, guides, etc. Spontaneously deciding to spontaneously take a spontaneous trip to Tirana to spontaneously see Manu Chao play was ... well it was Spontaneous. And totally outside my comfort zone. And totally AWESOME.

Don't know who Manu Chao is? What, have you been living under a rock? No, it's fine mis amigos Americanos that's what I'm here for.

Like it? This video is how I learned "Gustar" in Espanol:

Adding to the list of things I learned in Albania: Spontaneity can be enjoyable if it involves dancing. 

1 comment:

  1. GOD, that sounds amazing!!! AAAAAAAAAA!! AMAZING. On a related note, I miss you so much that I could burst. Keep having these amazing adventures.