I woke up early to the loud crowing of our neighbourhood roosters. I looked out my bathroom window and saw the rooster and chickens rummaging around in a huge pile of rubbish which is piling up in the backyard of the house next door. It's not a pretty sight. I assume it's partly responsible for the huge brown rat my dog was interested in yesterday as we walked through the neighbourhood. I wish someone would deal with the trash problem here. And I wonder about the bird flu problem and when it will hit Albania if it already hasn't.
Driving to the new hypermarket this morning my driver decided to take a 'short cut' and show me a side of Tirana that I have not yet seen. The traffic on the main road is attrocious these days and he thought it would be a bit faster, which it was, even though we actually drove much slower. I was happy for the opportunity to watch out my window and see another way of life. But I didn't expect to see two live cows tied to the door handle of a meat shop, standing under a handmade sign that said "Fresh Meat" in Albanian! Ewww. Not appetising.
Driving home I spotted a small shop selling arms (guns)-- the sign above it said "Shotgun Americane", the name of the shop. A sad commentary on America.
I got home from doing my shopping laden with 7 bags of heavy necessities. I had put off buying laundry detergent and other heavy things for as long as I could because it's such a chore lugging them from the car to the elevator and up to our apartment, but today I gave in and bought the works. Sazan (our driver) helped me to the elevator with everything but as we approached the door my heart sunk. Arggh. No electricity. I hopefully thought that perhaps it was just the elevator needing repair, but no, the power was off in the area. I was NOT hauling 7 heavy bags up 10 flights of stairs. Uh uh. No way. It's hard enough etting myself up those stairs. so I grabbed the bags and dumped them in the office of the owner of the building and said I'd be back when the hydro was back on. I took one bag (of bread) and headed up the stairs. Luckily I know I can do it. And I did. The power was off for about 4 hours and I wandered around the apartment like a chicken with its head cut off for a while. It's weird being without electricity. What do you do with yourself? I finally decided to grab my book and sit on the terrace and read, which turned out to be a lovely idea and I even caught a bit of sun!
P came home a bit early carrying a huge box and when I saw it I jumped for joy- it was filled with a dozen tins of Tim Horton's coffee (that's a very Canadian thing), and a copy of last Friday's Globe and Mail newspaper. Oh the simple things that bring me pleasure these days. Now I'm sitting here with a mug of my favourite java, having just read the newspaper and I feel completely happy.