At Elephant’s Cave – Goa Gajah


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One interesting place to visit in Bali was Goa Gajah, the 11th century tiny little cave listed on the UNESCO World Heritage sites. As the word of Goa Gajah is anticipated coming from the word of Lwa Gajah, the name of Buddhist Temple or hermitage for Buddhist monk, it was a surprise finding that it was rather a Hindu temple. It was surrounded by the nearby villages and enormous rice paddies.
Once entering in the dark cave narrow passage, it suddenly ends in an intersection. The left passage contains a statue of Ganesh, the Hindu god reminiscent of an elephant. The right passage holds a small worship area with 3 stones (lingam and yoni, symbols of divine procreative energy) in honor of Shiva. So if couples were having reproductions problems that was the place to bring their offerings and pray. But entering in the dark misty cave was not as impressive as looking at it’s demon’s mouth surrounded by old archaeological ruins. While the Patirthaan holy pool centered in the cave courtyard serves as a place to take the holy Tirtha water for Hindu ceremony, and walking further there were signs of entering in the jungle. I was told that many old men, once they reach their retirement age, go to live in the jungle for reaching eternal peace with the natural habitat until they die. Very mystical setting and stories in the Elephant cave.

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The Myth of Dating the Albanian Girl


I always find hilarious reading topics like “the perfect woman”, “how to seduce a man”, “10 naughty secrets”, ” 30 things to do to a naked man” , “how to land a date”, and so on… the list gets endless in women and fashion magazines around the globe. Therefore, looking at the article Would You Date: the Albanian Girl which I found randomly at Elite Daily, immediately triggered funky thoughts. I was right. The dating guide to the Elite globetrotting men this time offered pros and cons of dating The Albanian Girl. I don’t know what irritated me most, likely the pros, but nevertheless I found it pretty entertaining.

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Long Summer nights at Padam, Tirana

Pros: Domesticated- “In a period where women are overly preoccupied with “who are you wearing”, “how they can get their hands on the latest fashion”, or “how they can find a man who will buy them whatever they desire,” it is difficult to find that particular girl that knows how to treat a man. Because many Albanian families are very traditional, it is almost guaranteed that she is more than capable of preparing a good meal and actually knows how to do laundry well”. Are you serious? Since when dressing up is not part of the Albanian culture or since when women who actually follow fashion do not qualify as family-oriented? Who on earth are those “Elite guys” wanting a wife only for being capable of preparing a good meal and doing laundry? It’s true that families in Albania are rather conservative and traditional, like it’s true that more young women are keened on embracing western values, getting educated, and working hard to be independent.

Make Good Wives- Wow, I didn’t know that we deserve that stupid title “A good Wife Material” or You can count on an Albanian woman to stick by her man no matter how difficult things get financially. Even if her man is in the wrong, an Albanian woman will be understanding and stick by her man.” Not that having a loyal woman by your side it’s not essential, actually it’s very important, but nowadays Albanian women are not much different from their western counterparts. I’m just being honest here. The number of divorces in Albania not only is constantly increasing, but are mainly women filing for it. To some extend this is even good news for us since it means we’re getting more free and capable of taking life into our own hands rather than living an unhappy married life. I guess the wrong perception derives from the communism decades where divorce was almost illegal and society back then was heavily stigmatizing a divorced couple; therefore women were obliged to “stick by their man” no matter what.

Presentable“They take care of themselves, are very fashionable, and present themselves in a manner that is classy and sophisticated without coming off as haughty. Not only are they well dressed, but Albanian women also take pride in how they present themselves in the public sphere. You will never need to stress over being embarrassed by harlot-esque actions from an Albanian woman”. I tend to agree with this one 😉 

Sex: The average Albanian household is known to be strict, especially for the women. This however does not deter our beloved Albanian women from getting down in the bedroom. She will come off as modest in public, but once the lights are off and the door is closed you must be prepared for the inner freak to come out. Behind closed doors these women have some moves reminiscent of some of your wildest fantasies”. I have NO comment on that, but I LOL when I read another user’s comment “At least they got one thing right”.

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Picture of Fadil Berisha -retaken at Pedonale street expo, Tirana

Cons: GossipersGossip plays a big part in the lives of women within the Albanian community. If you notice that your girlfriend is prominent in her social media sphere and changes her Facebook profile picture frequently, you might have a heavy gossiper on your hands. Social media will ruin this relationship because if she is stalking others, rest assured that she is taking note of your actions as well”. Well, I really find amusing the correlation between the frequency of changing the profile picture and a gossiper, but don’t forget that many couples throughout the world hooked up or ended their relationships through Facebook. But seriously, the problem shouldn’t be the “stalkers”, the problem should rather be the lame cheaters out there. This so reminds me an Albanian joke: A villager complained to his fellows that someone stole his cow last night, and they all start blaming him why he let that happen. The grieving villager listen to them and added: So, all the fault is mine, but the one who actually stole the cow is not to be blamed?

Questionable Past RelationshipsNever under any circumstance fall for the “You’re the first guy I’ve spoken to” or “I really don’t talk to guys like you” line. In most cases, it is a complete lie. Since many Albanian households are strict, Albanian women must find creative ways to circumvent the overbearing rules of their strict parents. This includes keeping some of their darkest and dirtiest secrets under wraps for extensive periods of time. Trust me, if they are good at keeping secrets from those closest to them, just imagine the past experiences she is keeping from you.” This does sound too paranoid and teenage-like issue to me. Parents asks to come home not too late so I tell a little lie to come around the situation or I keep a little secret for myself. It’s true that being open about past or private life is not a common quality for many Albanians, but still there’s no need to freak out, especially if you’re in a mature relationship.At the end our family ties usually are too strong to keep skeletons in our closets.

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Jealousy- “Home grown Albanian women tend to be territorial. Once you are theirs, you are theirs and no one else’s. Albanian women have difficulties with sharing. They are highly aware of their surroundings, so a wrong look from another girl can cause quite the commotion” Yes, we don’t like to share our man, but who would want actually…unless you’re into that swing couple stuff or you’re too hooked on threesomes, I have a hard time believing that other women out there like to share their man or have him flirt around. Plus, Albanian girls are extremely intuitive. So in case you’re playing the audacious smart ass with her just do a favor to yourself and avoid that, it won’t work. She will know you lied before you even realized you did;)

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Younger friends in South Albania

In the end it needs a no brainier that all this is not to be taken too seriously, since we are generalizing. If not, who’s the representation model of the Albanian girl? Is this sample girl coming from some remote village, big enough county, little town, city? What’s her education level or professional background? What looks are like or they’re all hot Mediterranean babes? I’m born, raised and lived most of my life in Albania and if you would ask me on this I would say; this all –inclusive stereotyping is not the right way to go. It usually carries elements of stigma, prejudice, verbal insult, or slur that encompasses the entire group. Rather go for the communication approach, chat, talk, or write and you’ll find out by yourself about the Albanian Girl.