i needed this moment

Elbasan Travel Blog

 › entry 10 of 11 › view all entries

God i wish i was travelling. i am reading all of these great blogs and one in particular is making me so jealous. i love doing the work i'm doing, or am going to do, still waiting on university to settle in so i can get started, but i was made to travel, to wander and absorb. I've absorbed a good deal of Albania already and though i dig the place i have some truly awesome neighbors i long to check out as well. On our trip back to the states we are going through, Macedonia, Serbia, Bulgaria and then end up in Prague. from Prague i fly to London and from there back to the states.

Unfortunately 'cause of time we will probably have to bull rush Macdonia and Serbia on our way to Prague and we'll only take a day in Budapest, and hopefully two in Prague. Macedonia and Serbia are right near us so i can hit those up when i get back in the spring and of cource greece and turkey are on my to do list in the spring as well.

Today, i realized i am desperate for social interaction. After we attended a friend's church we went and had dinner with him, an american couple from ohio and another albanian couple. Not to sound crass, but i felt weird being with all these couples and then its just me and chris. i thought- this is quite gay. c'fare te besh, 'what can you do.'

This is one of those times that are like lingering encapsulated moments of bliss. we sat around the room and me and chris were able to recollect both stories that the albanians laughed at and that the americans could appreciate. Its one of those moments you know you've integrated and connected with just enough to be appreciated and at the same time, we haven't lost our identity as westerners. I trully needed this night. we've had a rough summer of isolation. Living in amidst poverty and frustration (which can sum up both sides to albanians here) is nothing- in fact it is comfortable. And the cultural clashes of being gawked at everywhere and placated or mistrusted by so many over and over again can wear on you, but you can get use to that as well. But its the lonely isolation where you have only one person to talk to, or worse, having someone to talk to is not really what i need, it is fresh blood- people to interact with, do things with. get a coffee with, travel with... i want to hear new stories, new needs, new viewpoints. This is nothing on my best friend chris, who lives in albania with me, he feels the same way. Some people are comfortable putting down roots and getting into grooves or trends. I am not such a person. I like change and integration and adjusting to new circumstances. I like multiple people's opinion and i generally have three to five different close small groups i deal with, not just one.

So being here in Elbasan, isolated and admidst a type of people that are caught in the old ways but wanting to become new has been a test for me. And to not have other people to interact with, have coffee with, go on walks with or hike around or travel with has strained me. And tonight i realized how much as i just clung to the moment of having laughter and coversation with new friends and new acquaintances.

so 'Gezeuar' (the local toast here)- to new friends and the hopes of securing more to come

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photo by: d_ct30travel