From The Sea And Up To The Peaks

I must apologize for posting in such a sporadic fashion. It would seem that I am at a place that I hadn’t foreseen. In the past few weeks I have “allowed” myself to dwell in a state of ennui. I have eschewed a live-in-the-moment approach to this venture. There has been no word from the Slovaks regarding my residency visa, and the prospect of having to return to the US, is not one that I relish. The other option is picking up in September and going somewhere else for 90 days…again. My intention was to come to Slovakia, and establish a sort of base camp, and trip off for a week (or so) at a time and see some of Europe. Adding the bonus of getting to see my family now that COVID has relented, and so too have the restrictions on travel, I would have everything I was hoping for in my retirement. I feel like I’m too old to return to the vagabondism of my youth.

In exactly 2 weeks I will leave for my fly fishing trip up to the Albanian Alps. Perhaps that will help to “re-align” my sense of being. Life here in Durres has been somewhat different. After the fiasco of the Dutch couple, I am happy to be alone, chatting with the young wait-staff here at Hemera. The weather is slowly beginning to turn warmer (72F today), and the breeze off the water keeps it from not getting too warm….yet. I really enjoy being out of my apartment and sitting under either the tiki umbrellas or cabana, and reading/writing. Sitting on my balcony is ok, but having the vista of the Adriatic has a bit of a freeing aspect to it. I’ve grown accustomed to the Albanian hip-hop that pumps out of the speakers. Sometimes, a little later, when I’m having dinner the music will change to Euro-versions of light-rock from the US. The good new is everything is very inexpensive; the money I have saved is going to where else?…the IRS! My cup of Macchiato costs $1.35, and dinner rarely costs me more than $10. This a much more affordable option than Scotland, where costs are tripled.

I’m pretty close to having explored nearly all that Durres has to offer in the way of history. The Museum of Archeology might be a possibility for one more visit. The one thing I have to say about Albania in general, is that it really doesn’t have anything in common with the Slavs who circle it entirely from the North and Northeast. To the South, the Greeks, who some contend are Slavic, share some similarities in culture, but the Albanians are a hybrid of mostly Mediterranean, Turkic, and Central Asian going for them. Genetically the Albanians are closer to the Greeks or even the Cypriots. The mixture of past cultures and religions is fascinating. There are mosques right next Christian churches, and Synagogues. As modern as it can feel here, there is still a sense off the Old World in the manner of their behavior. The children are well-behaved and the teen-agers seem hesitant to do anything that would embarrass themselves or their families. There is not a shred of “punky-ness” to any of the young people I have met and observed. I’m not sure I would come back. If I am not able to secure a residency visa, I don’t see traveling to another non-EU country next fall.

For the time being, I am going to relax, let all things happen the way they are going to happen, and roll with it. I believe it would be counter to what I have been practicing for the twenty-some years for me to start worrying about events and entities I can’t control. In a sense, I am admitting to fretting about the outcome of this latest application for a visa. I don’t like the fact that it got in the way of this trip. I have pledged to do better. I allowed the Dutch couple to get in my head, and I let it affect the way I treat people. It is all in the past now. I will enjoy the next two weeks here and welcome the change when it comes.

I’m particularly grateful that my dearest Ana has been hired at a law firm to do conflict analysis. It has been a tough row for her to hoe and she is doing very well now; I’m very proud of her for doing the work to get to this point in her life. My son Cezar and my future daughter-in-law continue to plan their wedding; date unkown as yet, but it will be a destination wedding. As a father, those two are always my concern, and especially now that I am not geographically close to them, I have to let them develop their own lives and traditions. I’m very proud of both of them; as proud as a father can be.

In the end, I think I have allowed myself to miss people that mean the most to me. It wasn’t this bad until a few weeks ago…when the “ennui cloud” gathered. It would appear that my European honeymoon is over and the realization has set in that I may have self-imposed an exile that I wasn’t mentally ready for. Spiritually it has been a challenge as well. In order to get past this, I’ll have to practice what I preach. In the future I will get a post out every Sunday, at the least. I appreciate you letting me think out loud. I am also very grateful to have you follow and send me your comments. Again, many thanks for reading…

2 thoughts on “From The Sea And Up To The Peaks

  1. Still, what an opportunity to do as the one very special Greek philosopher instructed us to do long ago: ‘know thyself’.

    Liked by 1 person

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