Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lost in the Big City

The other evening we decided to venture out for dinner to a well known Albanian restaurant here in Tirana. It was dark by the time we left our house and the street that the restaurant is on is quite narrow and close to impossible to park on. So we had to continue further down the street because we couldn't turn around nor could we find a place to park. On and on we drove, zig zagging through the streets. Left turn, right turn, right turn, left turn. On and on we went for what seemed like miles. The tension rose inside our car. I suppose it didn't help that I kept repeating "This road has to come out on the river, I'm sure of it." Before long the Big P was shaking his head and murmuring "I'm sure we're on the mountain already". It was dark and the roads were really in bad shape. What looked like puddles could have swallowed a small car. We finally came to the end of the road... a dead end! By then we were both more than a little anxious and decided to turn back and retrace our route, a little bit like Hansel & Gretel! It worked out great and we managed to get back to where we started from, and found a place to park.

I do speak a little Albanian but I realised then that I don't know enough. I wanted to stop and tell someone that we were lost and ask for directions (Yeah women are like that!), but I didn't have the words. It's a terrible feeling to not be able to communicate. You feel like a helpless child. So as soon as I returned home I took out my handy English-Albanian Dictionary and looked up the word for lost.

Albanian Word of the Day
Lost = Humb
To lose one's way = Humb rrugen

Oh and another useful word is "ndihmoj" which I hope means "Help!"


oreneta said...

Oh, Kim I can so relate, I am well past that stage in Catalan now, and can manage most any situation...with an appalling accent and worse grammar, but I can understand and be understood. Now I have to tackle the other language...Spanish, specifically Castillian Spanish.

*wobbly sigh*

Di Mackey said...

I know what you mean ...

ITS said...

Hah! At least you got lost in Albania and most people are actually nice and helpful, and it's safe.

Try getting lost in Chicago's southside after dark and I dare you to step out of the vehicle and ask for directions.... ;-)

/you better keep driving till you are out of gas...

Ll.T. said...

U should inquire about a GPS system, I hear that it is now possible to get one for Tirana.

Miss Kim said...

oreneta... and languages get more difficult the older we get. But at least they're good brain exercise!

di... funnily enough my Dutch is much better now than it ever was when I lived in the NL!

its... yeah yeah... "The southside of Chicago... Is the baddest side of town... and when you go down there... you better just beware..."

Llukan... yep... we've ordered one! I'll let you now how it works!

Anonymous said...

I just read your post and i could not help but notice your attempt to speak correct Albanian. You are right on all the translations, but one.
Oh and another useful word is ["ndihmoj" which I hope means "Help!"]

Actually, "Ndihmoj" means TO HELP. "Ndihm" means HELP! =]

I hope your experiences in my hometown (Tirana) are as pleasant as mine have been the whole 14 years i lived there.