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Albania Vlore

Exploring the Neighborhood

Update on a few things…..I fixed the sofa cushions! It’s a big L-shaped sofa with 5 identical back cushions so I switched them around until I found a combination where the stripes lined up better. Now the cushions on the end that I sit on are wildly “off” but I don’t care because I don’t have to look at them. That’s better!

And the landlord didn’t return until three days later, after I’d given up on being presentable at all times. So it was again Scary Janis who answered the door….poor guy! Same baggy fleece pants, mismatched and wildly clashing fleece shirt, no bra, fuzzy teeth. I had at least brushed my hair this time, for whatever that’s worth.  I think he said they had to order a part for the mini-split AC unit in the bedroom so that means another surprise visit at some point. Sigh. I’m afraid he’s just going to have to chalk Scary Janis up to me being old, or American. Or both.

I read that they’re building a new international Airport here in Vlorë! It will take 2-3 years to build and it will have direct flights to the US.  That’ll be nice!

It’s a really nice day, sunny and 64° so I went out exploring my neighborhood a bit more. About 2.5 blocks away I found a second meat store, another little produce market and a fresh fish store! I got some salmon that was $7.50 a pound, pretty pricey, especially compared to the little teeny fishies I usually get that are $.75 a pound. And for the first time I saw goat meat for sale….the whole goat was on display at the meat market! I didn’t buy any but I do wonder what it tastes like.

I also went into a little variety store and got some really thick sweatpants and a sweatshirt. I’ve been mourning the nice warm sweatpants I had to leave behind because they were too bulky and too heavy. These weren’t cheap, $20 for both but they’re really nice. The pants are big; I could have used a smaller size but I held them up to me and they seemed too small. They’re just for wearing around the house so big is okay. The man & wife store owners were really sweet.

I sure lucked out with this neighborhood; it’s got everything I need! To think I didn’t want to live in this area because it’s the tourist side of town! I’m so glad I didn’t rule it out completely and not even look at this apartment. Now I really only need to go into the city to get cash from the ATM. 

I stopped at my little grocery on the way home for a few items. If the total is over 1000 Leke (about $9) they’ll take a credit or debit card. I think it’s really funny that I can tap my “contactless” debit card but they also still make me sign the receipt. Then I went to the produce market and got lettuce and 3 little tangerines. I just want one bunch of lettuce but they always have two bunches hooked together. Today it was four bunches; a huge armload of it! I can’t keep it fresh long enough. Because it’s not refrigerated here, it’s kinda limp right from the start. But I guess it’s okay if some gets tossed out; it only cost $.70 and the tangerines were 3 for $.08! 

I love this place!

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10 replies on “Exploring the Neighborhood”

I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well in your new home. I truly admire your bravery, adventurer’s spirit and sense of humor. I love your posts and look forward to each one. May your 2023 be full of new experiences, new friends and good health.

– Eileen from NC (68 y.o. long time follower and fellow former Aframe owner)

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Love the sound of your new neighborhood. The lettuce will last if you keep the head in tact, roll in paper towel after washing, then wrap in foil if you have any. If you have a cool area, it may last a week, but if you can get it in the fridge, it will last longer. Goat is good but can be gamey or tough if not properly marinated. Smear with yogurt if you can find some and set overnight…when ready to roast, wash off the yogurt and dry off the meat. Rub with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I like it best done as shish kabobs on a grill. I love the sofa, I would have just left it as it was, but admit it looks much better now that you lined up the stripes. Glad you are settling in…being able to get outside and meet people will help to feel less alone, but you are good at that. You always seem to meet interesting and helpful people where ever you are. ❤️

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Sounds like a great nieghborhood! The price of the salmon is pretty much the same here, so I’m not eating much of it these days. But all the other prices sound fabulous. I wouldn’t worry to much about how you look when the landlord comes when least expected at least they can’t accuse you of trying to pick him up.(just a little humor there)

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