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Albania

Dec 5, 2012

5 comments

If you suffer from motion sickness, are a stickler for the law or have a problem with being gawked at — do not attempt the Albanian bus system.

I had been totally over-confident about this. I was well-travelled, having worked as a tour guide in Europe for two years, and I knew how to bus myself around. I had worked on boats in both Croatia and Greece, so I knew how to deal with seasickness. I had also mastered the art of “faux patience”, having calmly told passengers the location of the toilet over 1582 times, usually in the space of one night, even though I wanted to vomit on their shoes if they asked me once more. Continue reading “Eaten up by the east: embarrassed in Albania”

Albania

Jan 25, 2012

5 comments

Nick Johns-Wickberg writes: My fingers wrap tighter around the Jesus bar as I see the taxi’s speedometer break 80km/h. He’s moved over to the left hand side of the road, because the decrepit car in front of us isn’t capable of breaking the 30km/h speed limit, and, despite the oncoming truck, he’s decided to stay left to avoid the potholes.

He keeps his line, daring the truck to pull over, but neither vehicle is prepared to concede the smooth side of the road in this insane game of chicken. We’re within spitting distance when, at the last minute, my man swerves right, narrowly avoiding the truck, various farm animals, and a group of local children, all of whom look completely unfazed. I release a little bit of breath, and possibly a tear, but, alas, my terror is not over yet.

Continue reading “Welcome to Albania, where ice on the road gets the bus driver dancing”