Zero Isn’t “That Bad”….In The Sunshine

I had to meet my friend Leo this morning, and since he was late opening his shop, I decided to sit on the beach. Looking out from here the Adriatic is placid compared to the last week; storms seemed to bellow directly from the West and the surf was fierce. At the time (9am) it is 0C (32F), but with no wind for the first day in a week – it was perfect. The air is crisp, but the sun is warm. Tomorrow will be the same – 11C (51F) in the end. By Weds/Thurs we will be edging into the high teens, and will reach almost 70F (20C). I wanted to post so that everyone knew that I was still ok. This will be a short note, to shore up my absence last week.

Leo has explained what bus to take, and where to go. After my experience last Saturday with the cab driver, I have been taking my time getting to know people. Ohan is a musician that lives below me in the building on Rruga Venecia. We chat lightly when we see each other. I am taking my time getting to know Leo, he seems like a sincere fellow. He is beginning to outfit his store for the beach season that will begin in May. I came down the street to meet him at 9am to see what time he was going into the city center. After ribbing him about getting up on time, we talked about time for a trip into Durres. Even though he doesn’t have everything I need, I would rather go to his market for the necessities. As he nears the season, he will begin to carry the full deli, and produce that carries him through the late Spring, Summer, and early Fall.

I am very surprised by the fact that nearly everyone I have spoken to speaks English in return. I have to believe that it is due to this being a resort town. Leo says that a lot of his customers, and guests that occupy the surrounding hotels and houses, are in fact Italians. I guess it is cheaper for them here than at their own seaside resorts. Leo speaks fluent Italian, Greek and English, besides Albanian. I’ve been working on my Slovak during this downtime keeping me indoors, beside working on my own paper.

The mountains in the surrounding area have snow on them for most of the winter and they seem to be shedding it now. I’m happy to be on my patio. Although it’s on the back of the building, I can feel the warmth of the sun. On Friday, I will move to the front of the building, facing the Adriatic. Now that the weather has turned for the better, I am going to strike out to find the combined histories of the Greeks, Romans, and Ottomans…along with a host of others. I wasn’t surprised to know that almost 60% of Albanians identify as Muslim, and nearly 20% identify as Christian. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I haven’t seen any overt signs of fundamentalism. The vast majority of elderly men and women I have encountered on my short walks smile and nod as we walk past. At this point in my travel, I have written off my initial experience of nearly getting hijacked, for a better experience overall. I know that it happened because I wasn’t paying attention, it is a good thing I realized what was happening and got out of that situation. I have moved on and I have to say that Albania has been a good choice so far. I am currently working with a service to fly fish in the northern and central mountains. It is very affordable, and will allow me a chance to see the “natural” aspect of Albania, before I head to Tirana and spend some time with Petr. I will have the whole of April here in Durres, and will most likely do my fishing trip in May.

I will send another post tomorrow, after a hike down the beach into the city center…either that or a bus ride into town. I battled a vicious head cold and feel 100% better. I think the sunshine and fresh air will help put me over the top. It’s almost Noon, and I’ll have a little bite to eat and head back out. This is much easier than being cooped up from the driving rain and wind-tunnel blasts from the Adriatic. Until then, thank you for following me, please be well, and take care of each other.

5 thoughts on “Zero Isn’t “That Bad”….In The Sunshine

  1. Broski, that sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D. Take as much as you can get. It’s free. That clean Adriatic air will help flush that head cold to the back of the bus. Enjoy—it looks magnificent!

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