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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SARANDA, ALBANIA

APARTMENT RENTAL STORY

Went out wandering around for a couple hours and happened upon a 'tourist information' store.

Although these are actually usually places to get gullible tourists to just buy whatever is on their shelves, I said 'what the heck'.

Sadly, I had a question that was outside their norm (as Logan often does) and wanted to know where I could find rental property or a real estate agent.  Surprisingly, they knew of one and sent me there.

After the guy had made a few calls, he announced he could not find anything in the 250 euro range I had asked for, 300 euros is the absolute minimum.

I bid him good day and went back to my hotel room.  It is ten euros per night and includes wifi and even a little refrigerator.  Now, I have complete flexibility.

The only small warning light is the lady won't give a receipt for the money.  Doesn't the government make you?  This inquiry caused her to give me the 'what the government doesn't know won't hurt me' look so I just told her that I would be paying every day.

When I asked about laundry, I was told it would be free.

In my opinion, free laundry is not only a very cool thing to do for the guests, but it encourages them to stay longer.  Since I've rarely traveled to places which use mechanical clothes dryers, the clothing is sun dried.  This takes time and gets another day (or more) of people staying.



MUSINGS

Coming into a new town in a new country is often an unusual situation.

One of the first things I try to do is set up some sort of routine for myself.  For people looking at my lifestyle, this might seem to be an unusual thing.  How can someone who is constantly on the move have any sort of routine.

Perhaps routines lend some sort of internal stability.  Certain routines also aid with personal and gear safety.

Many of my personal routines are often the same everywhere I go.  Always take my day bag out with me.  Always wear my money pouch under my clothing.  Always make sure my day wallet has money for just the day in it.  Make sure my gear is locked up as well as the security - or lack thereof where I am staying seems to demand.

Other routines change wildly.  Where, what and how often I eat - for example.  In warmer climates, one meal may suffice.  Perhaps just some sort of bread (or cheesy bread, tag Travis Powell - yeah, that gag never gets old) for breakfast then a late meal then some sort of late night snack may suffice.  In colder climates, I've found I (unfortunately) tend to eat more.  Perhaps my body thinks it is time to hibernate.

In this latest town, I'm still working on finding my new routines.

Not sure how long I will be here.  I spoke to the landlady asking if I rented for a longer time if the price could come down.  She spoke of how much electricity costs for a month.  Apparently, not having a renter at all might be cheaper.  I don't know much about business but that sounds odd to me.

The place I'm staying in now is $450 per month.  It's a bit above what I normally try to get - $300 per month but it is very comfortable.  With the exception of the bathroom (Eastern Europe doesn't really get plumbing) it is a pretty professional hotel room.   My current plan is to try to stay here at least a month.

Although Corfu (Greece) is really close it looks like it would be a pretty expensive day trip for me, probably needing to drop $100 per day there.

I'm still working on making loose plans for heading back up the twisting winding bumpy roads back up north to take a ferry (ug) to Italy.  My guess is that I would need to just cut through it but if I can find a place in Naples cheap enough to rent, that is a possibility.  After that, onward to Tunisia.

My guess is that Tunisia is much like Albania in that while the internet shows nothing cheap, cheap places can be found once I get there.



THOUGHTS ON SARANDA

I'm in a weird part of town.

The bus (read as painfully cramped mini-van) dropped me off across the street from where I'm staying.  There isn't a real 'bus station' here.

The hotel doesn't really look like a hotel from the outside.  In fact, it looks like a cafe.

A cafe where at least half the people aren't sitting at the tables.  They were lounging around stairs and such.  There was even a dice game going on.

From what I've been able to gather, this is where the 'day laborers' of the town wait for jobs.

Not sure what made me pick this place - it was just a hunch, intuition or something.  Glad I got it as inside the room itself it is nice.

As many of the places I've stayed, this place probably isn't appropriate for a pretty girl to stay but being the polar opposite, I'm fine.

In the previous town, the kids of the owner (and nieces, nephews and such) were instrumental in translating.  Here, I don't have that.  My landlady speaks extremely basic English and less if I want to negotiate a lower room rate.

The only person yet found here who speaks decent English is one of the day laborers.  His English rapidly deteriorated to "I love America" and requests for a cigarette as he became staggeringly drunk off a single two liter of beer.

You can tell a lot about the people you are talking to if you pay attention to other natives microexpressions when they look at the person.  Their expressions told me pity and 'gosh we're sorry he's the only person who speaks English'.

Overall, I'm having less fun here than in the previous town (Berat) because I've not yet found anyone cool who wants to hang out and talk in a language I understand yet.  Perhaps later.  Note that I don't think it is their responsibility to speak English (or German) - it is my fault I don't speak Albanian.

But I am a bit surprised that in the main tourist town in a country I've been told the number two language is English not to find more people who actually speak English.



OTHER PEOPLE'S THOUGHTS ON LOGAN'S VOYAGE

"I am sure, in the miserable annals of the Earth, you will be duly enshrined!" - Lord John Worfin.



VIDEO

Albania, Berat



2 comments:

  1. Apparently the south of Iran is quite nice during winter, lots of green fields and such.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have contemplated going to visit Northern Iran. The people who live there are called the Kurds and it is a group which the USA has not yet fucked over.

    ReplyDelete

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{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia | Michigan | Illinois | Colorado |

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