I heard back from the Social Security office in Rome! They sent me a form that needed to be filled out by me and my bank in order to have my benefits start going to my Albanian bank, which may or may not actually be required for Residency. It’s unclear, so better safe than sorry.
It has to be returned by mail, which is a pretty scary prospect considering my last foray into international mail service! It was raining this morning but I felt I had to get it done ASAP so I donned my raincoat, grabbed my umbrella and set out. Ugh, whoever thinks walking in the rain is fun has got to be nuts! It’s miserable!
I went to a print shop to get the form printed, then walked the 2/3 mile to the bank. I got the form duly completed, signed and stamped and walked up to a bus stop to go to the post office, since it’s an additional 3/4 mile and by then the rain was really coming down. At that point my $3.50 Albanian umbrella started to misbehave. It wouldn’t stay open and kept collapsing on my head, which seemed to amuse everyone around except me. So I tossed it in a trash bin and soldiered on. I mailed the form and paid extra to get tracking, for whatever that’s worth. Tracking sure didn’t keep my package from getting lost! I also checked to see if by some miracle my package was there but it wasn’t a day for miracles.
The post office is on a one way street so I wandered around in the rain trying to find where to catch a bus going back towards home and got a little lost. I finally stopped and asked a kid, who directed me to the right spot. I’d have saved a lot of steps if I’d just walked back up the street to where it became two way again! Oh well, next time I’ll be smarter. Then I rode home and was glad to get my soggy self back indoors! And now you know why I usually don’t go out when it’s raining. Sometimes I really miss not having a car.
I’m going on a vacation! I’ve booked a 3 night stay at a boat-in guesthouse on Komani Lake called “5 Stinet”, June 20-23! It’s five cute little lakefront chalets with out of this world views of the surrounding Accursed Mountains.
From there I can take kayaking tours, take a ferry to the little village of Fierze, and a trip up the Shala River. It includes van transportation from my summer abode in Shkoder to the ferry dock in Koman and back plus the ferry trip to the guesthouse on Peace Island. The chalets each sleep 3, have wifi, air conditioning, nice modern bathrooms and cost €70 per night with breakfast included. Lunch and dinner are $12 each. Luckily I only eat twice a day.
Here’s a bit of a problem! The trip includes round trip van transportation van from Shkoder plus the ferry to the guesthouse. The white squiggly line on the map below is the road from Shkoder to Koman, which is not only very curvy but also very bad, partly paved, partly gravel with huge potholes. I’ve heard it’s very vomit-inducing and I get terrible motion sickness so I guess I’ll have to use a couple of my precious (and expensive) Transderm Scōp patches. They stick on behind the ear and are good for about 3 days but they give me really dry mouth. Still, that’s better than suffering a miserable 1.5 hour roller coaster van ride.
Here’s a little 10 minute video of the chalets and the Shala River trip. I can’t wait! https://youtu.be/AjqSfRVO6aA