Go read Chelsi's post and then come back here :)
I just want to add a couple more of these interesting conversations that happen in Albania...
1. "Your dog must have been expensive. How much did it cost?"
2. Regarding a gorgeous (mid 30's) Albanian friend: "Oh she (pointing at my friend) USED to be really sexy when she was young!"
3. Sitting at coffee with about 5 Albanian ladies: " Eda- you really need to colour your hair., it's ugly like that." And Eda has lovely salt & pepper natural hair colour.
4. Still at coffee with my Albanian friends: "She used to be so slim but now she is too fat." Said in the presence of the friend.
5. Two Albanian friends: "So Anna, how much do you weigh?" "55 kilos." "Nooooooo you can NOT weigh less than I do and I weigh 56 kilos!!!!!" (Astounded). Then they both stand up and touch each other's waists etc, making minute comparisons about all their measurements. They twirl around for everyone else to check them out as if it was a real competition. In the end one claims to have bigger boobs and must just look fatter.
6. How much is your rent? How much is your car? How much is your salary? Etc, etc. Nothing is sacred- Albanians just need to know the price of everything!!
Now, there's another problem. You can tell them the EXACT cost of everything and they DO NOT understand!! Foreigners are annoyed to no end by this. You see, MANY years ago - I don't know maybe 30??? - the government revalued the currency and everything got an extra zero. For some reason, ALL Albanians have refused to give up the old system, but ALL foreigners only use it. So if they say something cost 100 Lek, like a 1 Litre bottle of Coke for instance- you will be shocked (like I was) thinking that is way too much to pay for a coke (about $10) They actually mean about $1. But believe me, they're not trying to rip you off, they just can't grasp the new numbers. Even school children do this!
So, when you are asked the cost of something, don't worry about it. Just tell the truth and they'll be confused anyway!
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