Friday, May 23, 2008

Does Life Have No Value?

Driving just gets worse and worse everyday here in Tirana. Good thing I gave up thinking that my complaining could ever change anything. I know that it can't. Now I just repeat to myself "This is their country- it's not my job to change it". I ask you Albania- do you like it this way? I think you do. I've seen the way you chuckle to yourselves when you actually get across a street without getting hit by a car. I've watched you drag your children across the intersection AGAINST the red light. I've witnessed how you completely ignore the solid white lines and not only pass on the left but DRIVE into the oncoming traffic, daring everyone to stop you.

Last night there was a tragic accident in which the president of Top Channel/Media killed himself and his apparent girlfriend while driving his Ferrari right in the middle of the city. The car was torn in two. Look how far aprt the two halves of the car are in the video! I can't even imagine how fast he must have been going. There are reports of over 200 KM per hour. Tragic yes... but also foolish. He leaves behind his wife and 4 kids, one just a baby. Was it more important to him to show off his lovely car to all those around than it was to be a good husband and father? What was he thinking? Damn it. How could a man who runs a huge company be such a fool?

Here in Albania, the second poorest country in Europe, you find the most expensive sport cars and SUVs, and you find them in numbers that just don't make any sense. There are obnoxious Hummers everywhere, and every second person seems to drive a massive Touareg. Normal people all drive Mercedes, though I admit many of those are antiques in their own right. There is an attitude here that the bigger your car is( I really should say "machina"since "car" is Albanian for the private parts of a man!!), the better your chances are of being able to push through the traffic. I suppose that does work- sadly.

Oh *sigh*, I could go on and on.... all I want to know is what will it take before someone (the LAW perhaps?), clamps down on maniacal driving?


Anonymous said...

How could a man who runs a huge company be such a fool?

It is the people he ran that are the fools. The accident is the logical end-result of thug-capitalism. He's but the first (or may be the third) of many.

Soon the farce will end and his kind will be dead, deported or interned (as it was done before.)

Andrea said...

That guy was the nephew of ex dictator Enver Hoxha and a notorious criminal. Most Albanians will be glad to see him gone.

Anonymous said...

Your last two posts about traffic in Tirana remind me once again about Yerevan. Traffic rules are ignored, people who can afford it drive around in Hummers, Mercedes' or other big 4WDs. Most of the drivers are young guys showing off the big car they got from daddy's money. And they are driving badly. A few accidents have happened, but I am waiting for the one big one like you described. One will happen here as well, I am sure of that.

Your blog makes me think that I'd feel right at home in Tirana, because it is in many ways so similar to the things I see around me here in Yerevan.

CanadianSwiss said...

A man who could run a business maybe, but obviously, not his life. WTF is it with men and cars (both the Albanian meaning and the machina), anyway?!!?

akullnaja said...

I agree with you; Albanians like it that way. They go fast, they cheat to their wives and they like the expensive cars to compensate God knows what, but also the poverty where they've lived. And no rules, they know no rules, because it doesn't pay to know the rules. And when you're powerful in Albania,you don't need to respect the rules anyway. The powerful guys in Albania are very proud to tell in public that they can make a policeman who sticks them a fine get fired in 24 hours, not only not pay the fine. And they can. And DH certainly could. The system is completely corrupted, but you must know it since the time you live there.

And he was not the nephew of Enver Hoxha; they just have the same family name, which is very popular in Albania.

Andrea said...

A quick look around your blog tells me you are one of those bloggers who never responds to comments.

What a shame - time to unsubscribe...

Miss Kim said...

Hey Andrea... sorry if it appears that way to you! I tend to go to other people's blogs and leave my comments there. Perhaps it's not the best way but I think my freinds (and other bloggers) will support me on this. Sorry for offending you! I really do love the commenst and appreciate them so much.

Now about Dritan Hoxha- who knows the truth about him and what happened? All I know is that I find the ammount of emotion that I've seen on TV regarding his death (suicide to me) is nauseating. His family should be showing anger and it should be directed at Hoxha himself.

liburne said...

I totally agree with you that the way he mismanaged his life is foolish. No, SUPER FOOLISH. The road conditions in Albania are not appropriate for a Ferrari!Then he was cheating on his wife...a big minus that despite what some commenters here say the majority of Albanian society find disgusting. He is a fool yes, he didn't think about his family and the life of the young girl in the car with him.
He also endangered the lives of other people in the street!
Truth is fanatic, one day or the other, it will always come out in the open. There is no escape. I'm sorry for his wife and his kids.

Canadianswiss is absolutely right. Last month i made a mistake and accepted to go on a ride with one of my guy friends in Tirana. He took me to Dajti but he was driving so fast i was screaming. I think he wanted to show off how "strong" he was. Then a week later I went to Llogara and the south riviera of Albania to Sarande. Another Albanian male driver almost gave me a heart attack. I just gave up complaining because it excited him even more and made him go faster and resorted to praying to God, looking in the distance far at the horizon over the sea. Total silence. I couldn't even find a nice song on the radio, as you might have noticed the radio waves are blocked by the mountains around that area. I was quiet for about 20 minutes and i think that my silence is what calmed him down and made him go slower. I think men have CONTROL issues. He just scared the s out of me to keep me in check, to show me he is the boss in the relationship,that he makes the rules. Next time I'll drive myself and not let my life in the hands of egomaniac fools!
I don't think it's an exclusive Albanian phenomenon. Here the (implementation of the)law is weaker. The first car crash i was involved in was in GREece 10 years ago. A young man, a red convertible, a hot chick in the front seat, loud hardbeat music, a highway near Patra, high speed, chatting and showing off instead of keeping the eyes on the road. All of those are red flag dangerous ingredients for disaster.
Their car hit us from behind. But because we were on a high car we didn't suffer anything, whereas the red car was deformed.
My advice to those who have to drive through Albania, go slow, open your eyes, be safe and careful, and keep a good distance from other cars.
Dritan Hoxha's personal life was a mess, but professionally, we have to admit,what he did for Albania is worth all the emotional recognition we see on tv and more. We have to separate the personal and the professional. Top Albania Radio, Top Channel, Top Media, Digitalb, etc are gems of Albanian culture.I don't know if you understand ALbanian, but the news reads letters from foreign media moguls how they lost a dear genius/friend.
In the end, we learn again from the ancient Greek tragedy. A successful, adored 'hero' becomes tragic when he develops 'hubris', bad pride, showing off. This marks his/her tragic downfall.
Work hard, but keep a cool leveled head ppl. Otherwise ppl might lose that head.

Anonymous said...

Dritan Hoxha's personal life was a mess, but professionally, we have to admit,what he did for Albania is worth all the emotional recognition we see on tv and more

What he did was tear down that disintegrating social fabric even more. What use is the technology he pioneered to spread worthless content?

There's no need to lionize the fellow. He's your garden variety risk taker. His type seldom makes past 40.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say hello! I have occasionally been reading your blog with interest since I found it by chance on the Net. I'm British Canadian, now living in London, but I've lived quite a bit in Eastern Europe too, including Moscow 2 years ago. I've always been interested in Albania.
Anyway, I have to say the traffic chaos sounds very similar to Moscow! Again there are plenty of huge Hummers there too and lots of macho posing. And there often seem to be no traffic rules at all. Well, it's easy to break them, because the GAI (the traffic police) are completely corrupt and just take bribes if they stop someone for dangerous driving. There is a vast number of people killed on Russia's roads every year - presumably especially in Moscow, since there are a lot more people able to afford cars there.

Panorama de Fortim visto por Alida said...

Corruption fruits emerge into the "stronger's " authority to live a modern life into a "state of nature" rules ..

I decided not to get a car only because of this, I got my driving license but seeing the way everyone drives here , I guess I ll live my life as a "pietonne"