Last night we experienced two very opposite kinds of fire.
First, at around 7pm I looked out the window and saw a huge billowing cloud of gray smoke, not far from our apartment. Quickly we ran out on the terrace to see what was happening and in just a matter of minutes the smoke had developed into quite a fire. People had gathered around the scene and in the distance we could hear the sirens as they approached. They arrived quicker than we thought they would and soon there were several hoses working on the fire. At one point I was teary eyed as I spied several elderly people on their balconies just above the fire. I wanted to shout to them to get out but I was too far away. In the end they were fine but they never abandoned their homes, which I think is strange. My instinct would be to get out. Perhaps because these buildings are made of concrete they are more impervious to spreading flames, but I'm not sure about that. In Canada we are drilled all the time about how to escape a fire. Families are encouraged to make plans and to practise getting out of a house. I am thankful that I've never personally experienced a fire, but I've always had a huge fear of them.
The second fire was a wonderful fireworks display for the inauguration of a really fabulous new office building in the city. We were to have attended the cermony but after our day up on the moountain we were too tired to go out. But luckily for us we have the most awesome view of the entire city from our terrace and so we were treated to the show. I LOVE fireworks and always stand in awe when they appear in the sky. Albanians seem to love them too, so from now until the fall I'm sure to witness many spectacular explosions.
"Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire,
what do freedom fighters fight?
They never mention that part to us, do they?"
"All architecture is great architecture after sunset;
perhaps architecture is really a nocturnal art,
like the art of fireworks."
Gilbert K. Chesterton