Promiscuous Summer Thoughts…

As weather unusually turned less inspiring this Sunday, only 26-13 degrees Celsius, which for July levels is unthinkable in the Balkans, I keep on fancying hot summer memories. A couple of weeks ago I was in Budva, by the Montenegrin coast which often turns into a warm shelter for runaway weekends. I simply love going there, and it works great even for a short weekend especially after a busy week. The drive is 3.5 hours from Tirana and the coastal scenery is breathtaking. And it never gets boring. Even by being there quite often, new things are being discovered, like the mermaid of Budva, the hidden rocky beach closed by, and finally I made it inside Citadella thanks to extended visiting hours.

As fun travels are as funky they can turn out to be. The Albanian-Montenegrin border has a very modest custom building. Passing through two countries police control means literally stopping in front of a shared little room.

The Albanian passport control: Where are you going?

Me: To Budva (isn’t that obvious) and I hand in my passport.

The Albanian passport control: Why?

Me: Holidays.

The Albanian passport control: Where do you work?

Me: Why does that matter!!!

The Albanian passport control: No, but is everything ok? Have you booked a hotel?

Me: Yes (Please don’t ask me whom I’m meeting there, it’s none of your business.)

The Albanian passport control: But really is everything ok with you, should I have to worry?

Me: Look with all these interrogative questions I’m starting to get worried myself. But you have no reason to worry sir, I know how to get there. (though I’m driving across border alone at 6:30 pm all I want is to drive fast and finally relax at the old town with my boyfriend who’s waiting for me there.)

The Montenegrian passport control: Good evening? Where are you heading to?

Me: To Budva and finally I’m handed the passport.

Afterwards, I so hated myself for being poky and hesitating to dig into the officer’s mind, what was he really thinking? Is still that awkward for a female to drive in the nearby country alone for the weekend?

Anyway, the day might be over, but the night didn’t start yet. After meeting my boyfriend and his friend at Astoria it was time for some Friday party unleashment. Our good looking German friend couldn’t wait to have a pre-taste of nightlife in Kotor. The Montenegrin girls looked as always gorgeous in their fancy outfits and tall attires. A couple of warm up cocktails and he’s approaching with confidence the next table where three local girls were sipping on their cocktails. The magic opening line always works. What’s the best club in Kotor? Maximus, they answered unanimously, we’re going there so meet you later.

At Maximus some type of local Bon Jovi had occupied the stage with wild crowds partying hard to some unknown lyrics to us. As flirting went on, it didn’t lead anywhere, not immediately at least. Typical Balkan style, you dress slutish, you have a diva attitude, but at the end you’re just not that promiscuous woman. They may seem to ran wild, appear as indulged in un-selective or casual approach, but in reality it definitely takes more effort for the guy. It was so much fun seeing the pattern repeating over and over again. In that way, when it comes to flirting I find little difference in the region.

Welcome to Balkans!

As Old Kingdom Crambles, New Hopes Arise in Albania

On Sunday the Albanian people hurried to get to the polls and cast their vote. Tired from poverty and corruption that has grabbed every aspect of social and political life, in the verge of despair; we woke up from a long apathy and ran to the polls. The kingdom crumbled, so was the myth created in the last 8 years during the Democratic Party ruling that politicians in power are the real kings; they can abuse public funds, get away with tragedies like Gerdeci, 21 of January, buy or manipulate the votes publicly and yet be there to run for a third term.

Inside the bunker

At the king’s heaven the strong is immune to law even without immunity, holding its citizen’s hostage in any possible sense. You are unemployed and need a crappy job in public sector to survive then pay to get it, you are sick, insured but no able to bribe the doctors yet die slowly from neglect in some lost public hospital corner, you are the owner of the house or land still be without an ownership certificate, you drive in the newly build Elbasan road with taxpayers money yet watch to get home alive from the massive stone falling due to prior opening on the highway for electoral publicity. In a society run by the rules of the jungle where you have to be the lion or in the circle of lions, where the anti-values are served as values, where public servants are brought out to cheer for the party in power in exchange to holding a job in public sector, where money buys everything, well almost everything.


One rightfully would ask why did it take so long to people to react? How comes that the bubble didn’t burst triggered by some youthful riots? Why this apathy has held us back for so long? I asked myself the same questions. I think partly because people are tired of protesting, fearing of being victims of fighting the government (remember 21 January 2011), drained of being unheard, un-represented, invisible to the government eye. Instead we choose to peacefully say NO to the injustice through our vote.


This election will be remembered as historic because Albanian citizens regardless many voting obstacles or irregularities ousted the current oppressive leadership. That was a historic NO, not only because the opposition won with a big difference of mandates (latest update 84:56), but because it united Albanians from North to South to break the vicious cycle, and set ourselves free to hope again.