Albania: The Persuasion to Visit

Where should I begin? Let’s begin where I last left off. “I was depressed, for one whole month,” wrote I at the end of my essay, “Albania: A Visit Back Home,” which recounted my last visit to Albania in 2012. I was depressed for one whole month? That was not enough or even accurate; try for one whole year and half, for it is true, friends, I missed my country, and i wanted to go back there.

I kept leading an aimless life here in America holding down some volunteer positions in the meanwhile. I worked as a librarian, shelving DVDs. Other than picking up a movie after work to reward myself, it wasn’t very rewarding. I worked in an animal shelter, and got to pet cats and walk dogs, but that wasn’t my passion. I went to the gym three times a week, but it was all for show. I was no body builder, nor a fitness buff. I went to coffee houses almost five days a week, to the point of boredom. I always sat alone, even though I would have preferred friends. At my favorite shop, there was an elegant brunette making coffee behind the counter who I always looked at. She knew I liked her, so she made sure to avoid my glance. There was no point in attempting to ask her out. I would certainly have been denied and so I never did.
All the while reality, or at least my reality seemed and felt bleak, for what I desired was to be back in my country, to walk those streets, to speak that language, to taste that food, and to be denied by those women! I suppose I just felt things would be better there. I couldn’t wait and so I made sure to go back there a year and a half later in April of 2014; to Albania, that I thought was a beautiful place. i thought i would have a wonderful time.

However this time around, unlike my previous visit in 2012 nothing was the same. It appears that history is a sequence of opposites. While everything went wonderful then and it was the vacation of a life time, the vacation in 2014 was anything but, and perhaps that is why i have yet to write it down until now, 5 years after the fact. But today I’m writing it down because I’m bored and what do writers do when they get bored? They do the same thing everyone does. They practice their craft, and so I will practice mine.

to be continued…

***

Today’s historical reading:

excerpt from Lord Byron’s letter to his mother (1809)

To me he (Ali Pasha, Albanian tribal chief) was indeed a father, giving me letters, guards, and every possible accommodation. Our next conversations were of war and travelling, politics and England. He called my Albanian soldier who attends me, and told him to protect me at all hazards. His name is Viscillie and like all the Albanians, he is brave, rigidly honest, and faithful, but they are cruel though not treacherous, and have several vices, but no meannesses. They are perhaps the most beautiful race in point of countenance in the world, their women are sometimes handsome also, but they are treated like slaves, beaten and in short complete beasts of burthen, they plough, dig and sow, I found them carrying wood and actually repairing the highways. The men are all soldiers, and war and the chase their sole occupations. The women are the labourers, which after all is no great hardship in so delightful a climate.

I could tell you I know not how many incidents that I think would amuse you, but they crowd on my mind as much as would swell my paper, and I can neither arrange them in the one, or put them down on the other, except in the greatest confusion and in my usual horrible hand. I like the Albanians much, they are not all Turks, some tribes are Christians, but their religion makes little difference in their manner or conduct; they are esteemed the best troops in the Turkish service. I lived on my route two days at once, and three days again in a Barrack at Salora, and never found soldiers so tolerable, though I have been in the garrisons of Gibraltar and Malta and seen Spanish, French, Sicilian and British troops in abundance.

Full Letter: Albanianhistory.net

Today’s Albania travel video: Jack and Gab in Durres, Albania

photo: AdventurousKate

Thenie Motivuese 7/6/18

(English)

Gjerat duhan kohen e tyre.

Ai qe nuk shqetesohet ne se eshte me i mire se tjetri, eshte me mire se ai qe eshte me i miri nder te dy.

Pse duhet te jesh i mire? Sepse eshte ne te miren tende.

Ne fund te jetes njeriu thote: sa gabime qe kam bere … Tani e di se c’duhej te beja.

Te degjosh dike duhet te kushtosh vemendje.

Vetem kur shikojme gabimet tona te perseritura nga nje tjeter i kuptojme sic duhet ato.

Sa shpesh na merr malli per te kaluaren?! Nje dite do te na marri malli per te sotmen. Prandaj gezoje te tashmen.

Ciltersia e femijeve eshte me e cmuar se ciltersia e te rriturve.

Faleminderit Zotit per miresine e njerezve te mire.

Merzitja nuk perfshin kur merresh me pune.

 

Motivational Quotes 5/14/18

I always knew one day I’d lead a beautiful life. But I was already living it everyday

Quiet is better than idle chatter

You are your own life’s author

Risk is your only chance at happiness

Good fences make good neighbors –Robert Frost

There are no guilty people -Tolstoy

If nothing’s going right, be a little creative

Remember those guiding words

***

                                                                                                                               (Albanian/Shqip)

E dija se nje dite, jeta do te ishte e bukur, por ne fakt ajo ishte e bukur cdo dite

Shpesh-here heshtja eshte me e mire se biseda pa vlere

Njeriu eshte autori i jetes se tij

Ne raste te vecanta, trimeria eshte i vetmi shans per te arritur lumturine

Gardhi i larte garanton komshij te mire –Robert Frost

Nuk ka njerez te denuar –Tolstoy

Neqoftese asgje nuk ecen, duhet te behesh pak krijues

Mos i harro theniet e mencura udherefyese

 

Portreti Im

(English)

 Portreti im në fotografi ,
Me ata sy që shkëlqejnë ,
Me atë fytyrë që buzëqesh ,
Me atë shpirt që ndjen!

Sa shumë shpresë . . . sa energji!
Po tani që vetëm je
Ai që fati e kish caktuar,
A e ke përmbushur vallë destininë tënde?

E si mund njeriu të përmbushë një destini të tillë!
Premtimi . . . kurdoherë më shumë se e vërteta!

Portreti im në fotografi,
Me ata sy që shkëlqejnë,
Me atë fytyrë që buzëqesh,
Me atë shpirt që ndjen!

Jeta vetë sa e mundëshme sa e kapëshme . . . !

Po tani që jam, ky që jam,
Jam bërë vallë ai që thotë portreti?
Apo dikush tjetër — nga fillimi në fund?

Sa shumë ngjarje më dhanë formë,
Tani vetëm se kujtime të jetës sime,
Më duket se kam jetuar në disa jetë,
Se kam parë era të vinë e të shkojnë.

Eshtë ky përfundimi?
Eshte ky realiteti final?
Apo ndoshta ka akoma distini,
Në jetën time, në fatin tim?

Kush e di? Tashmë 33,
Jo aq i ri. Jo aq i pandalshëm,
Por ende prapë me energji,
Të ndjek udhën e fatit tim.

Portreti im në fotografi,
Me ata sy që shkëlqejnë,
Me atë fytyrë që buzëqesh,
Me atë shpirt që ndjen!

Ky isha unë . . .
Një djalë i zakonshëm,
Nga një lagje në një qytet të zakonshëm,
Me një jetë të zakonshme.

U bëra i famshëm?
U bëra i pasur?
Apo i rëndësishëm?
Jo . . . aspak . . .

U bëra një njeri i zakonshëm,
Nga një lagje çfardo,
Në një qytet çfardo . . .
Me një jetë të zakonshme.

Të ardhmen . . . dikur mund ta shikoja . . .
Endra gjithmonë më e bukur se realiteti . . .

Moshë e rinisë – moshë e artë
Vite të stuhishme,
Idealizëm në ajrin që thithnim,
Dashuri në shpirt dhe në zemër.

Tani qielli është i hapur,
Mosha e burrërisë ka ardhur,
Mosha e arësyes,
Paqja dhe qetësia dominojnë.

Me sa duket kam arritur atje ku do t’arrija,
Kjo është jeta ime që do të ishte,
Kjo është destinia ime,
Pranoje dhe duaje . . .

(perktheu Luli Shetuni)