Thursday, September 25, 2008

Switching Places

Everywhere I went in Toronto I bumped into Albanians! It was quite weird in a wonderful way. I'd go out to do shopping or run some errands and come back and say "Guess what?" Mom or dad would answer "What?" and I'd inevitably laugh and tell them about the Albanian who had done my banking or sold me a new purse. In every store I'd overhear Albanians speaking to each other or having arguments that they thought no one could comprehend. It was fun explaining that I now live in Tirana and watching the confused looks on their faces. At first they stared at me in disbelief, then came the quick language test to see if I was telling the truth. A few "po po's", and a "faleminderit" or two and I was warmy welcomed into their life. Invitations for coffee were offered, and connections were made. Sometimes the connections brought unfortunate results- let me warn you- never tell the hairdresser that you're from her home town in Albania until she has FINISHED cutting your mothers hair. My Mom was virtually scalped and it took weeks to grow back in!! My son told me of the time he let it slip to a new hairdresser that he had lived in Romania and the stunned stylist took a chunk out of her own finger, bleeding all over the floor! Be careful who you share such exciting news with ok?

Coming back to Tirana is fun too. Yesterday my friend Iza and I had to stop in at one of our favourite stationery shops in the Blok area. It is a treasure trove of office supplies and always has exactly what we're looking for. It helps that there's a charming young man who delights in chatting with us and making us feel important. He asked where I'd been since he hadn't seen me in several months. I told him I'd been in Canada all summer and he scurried over to his computer and quickly changed the music to one of my favourite Canadian groups- "Great Big Sea". How sweet is that?? We discussed the band, both agreeing that they were quite folky- perhaps a little 'too' soft, and did I know any other Canadian bands that he could look up on youTube. All I could think of was the "Barenaked Ladies". Try explaining that name to an Albanian! We had a laugh and a few minutes later "If I Had A Million Dollars" was playing over the sound system. Can I tell you how nice it was? Mmmmmmmm so nice!!


Diane Mandy said...

It really is a small world, huh?

Laura'sblog said...

Hi Kim.

I , too am on my way BACK to Albania. Here in the States (Chesapeake, VA) I also meet astonished Albanians who can't believe I "live" in their home country.

I LOVE how you love Albania with all it's problems and idiosyncrasies. I feel the same.

Hope to see you at the Stephen Center sometime....

GMG said...

Hi Kim, great to see you back to real life... ;))
I've been in Malta in May 1999, but have no decent pictures thereof. So, no posts on it for the time being... Sorry :(