September 14th 2012
Tonight we went out to celebrate the first week of school being finished!!! So we headed to a local microbrewery. The microbreweries are nothing like they are in the states. You are lucky if they have 3 options of beer. The first one had 2 options, but one was out so I ended up drinking bionde (blonde beer).) Those of you who know me know that I like dark beer. Then darkest you can find. After we finished our 2 liters of beer we decided to head to another brewery.
Shakesbeer was fantasmic. Seriously. Of all the places I’ve been so far I’d have to say that Shakesbeer felt like home. They had Korca dark, and who knew that Albania could make such a delicious beer? And why isn’t it sold in more places? This was also one of the only places I’ve been here where I’ve seen other girls drinking beer. Plus towards the end of our time there we were all sharing stories about our past lives and suddenly Cortney said the most obvious, and yet most necessary thing. She said “Clearly we all came here for a reason, and that is what unites us all.” (or something like that.. I don’t remember the exact words.) Then we all said “Gazuar” and drank away.
Adam and Kevin started drinking Raki, and shortly after decided they needed a whole bottle, so we headed to a store to pick some up and then went straight to the pyramid. The pyramid was originally built as a grave/museum to honor Enver Hoxha (well known for creating the isolation of Albainia), but once he died it became first a nightclub and now is the home of a radio station. According to our principal tradition has it that foreign MIST staff like to get a bit of liquid courage and climb to the top. With a few beers in me, and a couple little sips of raki I decided there was no time like the present. So wearing a skirt I began to climb. About 2/3rds of the way up I remembered how scared heights I was and looked down. Woops. I started freaking out about how I was going to get down in a skirt and so I decided that my major concern was no longer getting to the top, but getting down safely without sliding. After we all safely arrived at the bottom we decided to call it a night.
I’d call it a celebration success!
September 15th 2012
Today I finally thought about that thing I told myself I wouldn’t think about. But, I’m thankful, because it wasn’t a terrible thought. For the first time it was an “I’m all done” thought, and it made me so incredibly free. But, on the other hand I thought to myself that even though I’m done, from thousands of miles away, my love is still strong. And that right there is something even more incredible.
September 29th 2012
This weekend has been fantastic. I spent most of it at the Human Rights film festival watching movies with my friends. Today we headed to the Stephen’s center for lunch and I had chimicangas. Mmmmm…..there isn’t much Mexican here, so this rocked my world.
Also I have officially decided that I would never be able to marry an Albanian man for the following reasons:
1) I need my freedom, and from what I’ve seen they are pretty strict with their wives. We’ve all seen me in a smothered relationship before, and we all know how it ended.
2) The dating culture is so different from that of America that I would be completely lost and confused as to how to approach any part of the relationship.
3) I could not live here for the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong Tirana is great and I love living here, but I think 2 years will be the max I can take before moving on. I’m not sure how visas and all that work, but I ‘m not sure I want to find out.
So, for everyone who said immediately when I told them I was moving, that I would find a man and live here forever, you can re assured that will not be the case.
October 2nd 2012
Never speak too soon. Just went you start to least expect things to happen they start to happen. Also…why is Diamonds café having any sort of a celebration on Tuesday night. And especially when my throat is killing me an I’m starting to feel quite sick. I need sleep, .not blaring loud Albanian pop music at 11:00pm.
October 30th 2012
It’s official. I started applying for jobs for next school year. I haven’t officially decided whether I want to stay or not, but I want all my options to be open to me. Today was a rough day. Not because it was a bad day, it just felt long. All the vacation has made me exhausted and made me homesick…somehow.
Also, I have mumps. Not fun at all, and I’m exhausted. All I want to do is sleep. Actually all I want to do right now is cry. I just feel as thought nothing is going right in my life, even the little things. I keep reminding myself of the lessons I’m teaching my first graders: that of patience. I have about as much as they do when it comes to planning my life.
But for now it is time to take a hot shower and get a move on it to go hang out with my friends. Also I think a few minutes of forced tears are necessary. But after a couple minutes of crying it will be time to throw myself back into life. I find that anytime I’m feeling down here it is usually because I’m not busy enough. I’ll finish off this longer than expected blog post with a quote I found today.
“And never have I felt so deeply at one and the same time so detached from myself and so present in the world.”- Albert Camus
Exactly true of my life right now.