The Last Focaccia Standing

Our journey launched at 12:04-ish-pm when we both escaped the eternal pit of making money for a corporate company and seeing a fraction of the profits in return – aka capitalism.

As destiny would have it, we were both on the same train to Heathrow, Ednora was at the front, me at the back. A fitting metaphor of our relationship, however you look at it.

The flights were smooth, apart from the piece of shit chicken we were forced to ingest in Rome, which I’ll share with you now. Just before we ate this fast food - delivered via the anus of Satan - Petrit, one of the two people traveling with us to Albania, and, incidentally, Ednora’s cousin, regaled us with his time spent in Italy and how he hated Italian food. I genuinely thought it was actually impossible for a human being to hate Italian food in Italy. He described his experience as traipsing from town to town, baguette to shitty baguette. We mocked him, saying ‘how could you hate food from the country of pizza and pasta?’ we asked, mockingly. He simply replied, ‘if it wasn’t spaghetti Bolognese, it was baguette.’ We continued to mock, mock, mock, mock. Oh how we mocked. Then we ate a baguette in Rome’s airport, and how I truly regretted the mocking. I had mentioned that we were forced; I do need to clarify the term ‘forced’. It wasn’t a Clockwork Orange-esque moment where our orifices were forced open and had poorly constructed chicken baps shoved into our gobs. No. It was basically the only establishment in the airport which sold stuff that would fill us up. My favourite part was when I asked for the last focaccia. They took it to the oven/microwave but dropped it on the way. The man looked up guiltily at me and I could see that he was undecided on which angle to take with this new situation. He had two options:

  1. We are fresh out of focaccia

  2. Are you still OK to eat this?

Thank god, he went with option A. So instead I went for the fly-ridden luke-warm chicken bap, with its one leaf of lettuce passing it off as a chicken & salad baguette.

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Around seven hours later we landed in Albania. We drove through Tirane from Mother Teresa airport. There is a strange affinity with Mother Teresa and the Land of the Eagles. Her mother was Albanian, father unknown. Having been born in Macedonia, and only visited the country once, it seems a bit as though they are clutching at straws. The link is certainly too tenuous to have, say, a ‘Mother Teresa Day’, which they do. We drove through the capital at night time. The roads were lit only from lights in shops. The street lamps were turned off. I guess the provider didn’t feel the need for them…at night. We didn’t stop off anywhere before getting to Leda’s mum’s apartment (Leda is Petrit’s wife), but from what I saw out of the window, I knew this was going to be a very unique experience.

We entered a car park, of sorts. The entrance was blocked by a metal gate you manually pulled across. As we parked, a little old Albanian lady came and bid us goodnight, which was nice. I have no idea who she was, or what she was doing there in the middle of the night, wishing people sweet dreams in car parks. I have just been informed by Ednora that it was, in fact, a man. Pretty awkward, although it still doesn’t explain why he was there. I was to later learn that this little old man was the boss of the car park, even though we opened the gate ourselves. Cheers mate.

I had my favourite Albanian food, Burek. A delightful pastry and feta dish at two in the morning, but it didn’t matter, we were in Albania.

We hit the bed after a long trip and I freaked out a little bit when I thought we had been sharing our bed with a bed bug. Turns out it was a fly. Thank god for Ednora’s wiseness.

Click here for Day 2 - The 'Undiscovery of Breakfast

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