Petrit and I went for a coffee as we watched his car getting washed. I understood that this, again, was to be my breakfast. Great. His car washed, inside and out, cost him £3. We hit the road and it was then I saw something completely mental – a motorcyclist HOLDING his helmet. Although this was the closest I had seen to anyone actually wearing a helmet on their head, it was still very far away from actually being on his head. I assessed his situation and decided that holding his helmet was actually more detrimental to his chances of dying than leaving the helmet at home. Not only was he not wearing the helmet on his head, but by holding the helmet meant that he was having to drive one-handed. This epitomised a lot of the madness I saw in this country. I must add though, if he was in a crash, his hand would have got through it unscathed.
Then we moved from that madness to another kind of madness - my first dose of corruption. We were pulled over by the police who seem to spend a lot of time chilling by the side of the road, and when they feel like pulling someone over they wave them down with what can only be described as a fly swatter with the Albanian flag on the end. Apparently Petrit was pulled over for overtaking on the wrong part of the road, which was dictated by whether the line in the middle of the road was broken or not. We looked back and, of course, there were no lines at all.
The officer said he would have to give him a fine and six months without a licence, with points put on his licence too. Petrit wrapped up the equivalent of £4 in some paper and walked over to the officer’s car where a second cop waited. All of a sudden the charge was dropped to just the fine. There appeared to be some good cop bad cop stuff going on and Petrit seemed to need to take on both of them. When we drove away we asked why he didn’t argue his case, but he explained that the fine would simply just go up and up and that it was best to just take it on the chin and make it as painless as possible. Criminals in uniform. This frustrated me more than the taxi driver.
We had seen online the night before some great caves to visit, but when we got nearby, the locals had:
Never heard of them
Said they were too difficult/dangerous to get to.