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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Kledia| Albania| Week 1

Finally was able to get WiFi in our apartment after a week of being internet-less. It was a challenge to live without internet because I am so used to being connected all the time.

The flight to Albania went pretty smoothly -- there actually weren't many people on our flight from Charlotte to Frankfurt so I had to seats to myself! I've been to Albania before because I was born there and I've been here a few time since I moved to the US when I was 5, but it was always to visit family. This is a new experience for me. I've never lived in Albania on my own and my family here was a little worried about how I would handle it. I wasn't expecting much culture shock because I understand and am part of Albanian culture. However, when I took a taxi and drove through the city to my apartment (that I share with two other girls from Michigan) I felt 'foreign.' It was an interesting feeling because I am Albanian -- that is an integral part of my identity but I felt less Albanian when I arrived in Albania. The way my identity changes will be interesting to look back on when I leave Albania.

I'm planning on each blog post to have a little information about Albania and the various sites I visit. Since I am interning at the Ministry of Tourism I want to do my part as an 'ambassador' of Albanian culture so each post will have a theme. This post is going to be about the coffee culture of Albania and what to expect.

The restaurant/bar/coffee culture is completely different than in the US. I've been to Albania a few times, but I still cannot get over how much coffee they drink. As an American I always grab my coffee and run, but here people will sit down to have their coffee and they go to the cafes probably three times a day. Once in the morning, during lunch, and then in the late afternoon. Of course not everyone obeys this schedule because some people have jobs that don't allow for this, but in general it's true. Generally people will stay at the cafes for around an hour because it is a time to talk with friends and family that you haven't seen and want to catch up with. Cafes in Albania tend to be very trendy and unique in their decor or their location. Today we went to a cafe called "Sky Tower." For a small fee you can take a elevator surrounded by glass that takes to the very top of a very tall building. There you go inside of a room that spins around and gives you a panoramic view of Tirana -- the capital city. If you're ever in Tirana this is a great place to visit to get some amazing views of the city. It's a little bit pricey for Albanian standards. At local cafes coffee ranges from 50 cents to $2, while at sky tower they range from $2 and up. However, it is worth it for the view and ambiance.


"Makiato e ftohte" -- cold macchiato



Inside the "Sky Tower"


View of Tirana from the "Sky Tower"


1 comment:

  1. Kledia,

    My name is Tammy Mida. I am interning in LSA International Internships this summer, so I will be reading and responding to your blog posts. Thanks for posting the title like you did- Name, Location, Week #. It's really helpful!

    I'm glad that you made it safe and sound. I loved reading what you had to say about your identity as a "foreign" Albanian. That "foreign" feeling is something that cannot be described. It is unsettling, but exciting at the same time. I'm interested to read about your feelings as you experience life in Albania.

    Having themed posts is a wonderful idea! Coffee seems to be a trend in many of the blogs posts I have been reading- from Turkey to Morocco. The Sky Tower sort of reminds me of Sears tower in Chicago. Great idea!

    What are some of your responsibilities at the Ministry of Tourism? Post work pictures!

    Best,
    Tammy

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