Albanian life: Mango scented toilet paper and 11 other details

The devil is in the details and there are some strange things going on here in Albania. Ever wanted a little teaser of life in Albania? Read on.

1. I have no idea how this is a mostly “functional” electrical system going into my building, but I don’t spend much time questioning it. 


2. There is mango scented toliet paper in almost every bathroom I have experienced in Tirana. At first I was skeptical, now I am not sure if I ever want to live without it.

3. There are no official chain restaurants.  But Albania has the second best thing…

Meg Donalds

4. Monkeys are a common pet here, so are squirrels. $300 will get you one sweet squirrel, dogs are considerably cheaper. Squirrel import business idea anyone?


5. C becomes K in english translations. I dig it.


6. Order a beer and be pleasantly surprised by complimentary carrots in balsamic vinegar. Tasty and healthy!


7. When I miss good ole fashioned American culture, I retreat to Steelwings my trusty reliable bar neighborhood harley bar. For some reason I feel right at home, nice and secure around all that leather.


8. The whole country seems to be under construction. Houses like this are common.


9. I live above cheers! It is as awesome as it sounds. No one knows my name there yet, but I am confident that by the end of my fellowship maybe someone will.


10. My laundry has a sweet view. The bad news is I have not figured out yet how to get hooked up with some outdoor furniture. There is no craigslist here and I find that I really don’t know how to furnish a house without it.


11.  Mother Theresa is from Macedonia, but all of the balkan counties really claim her. Every town that I have been in so far from Kosovo to Albania to Macedonia has her statue and a Mother Theresa square. Lost in a new town? There is a good chance asking where her statue is will get you right to a center of town, it hasn’t failed me yet.


12. Breakfast is this giant pig in a blanket for 75 cents. I had to change the way I was walking to work to avoid wanting one – things were that serious.