Wednesday, August 13, 2003
albania... albania... albania...
Well, Meredith and I sat and had some coffee and chatted, and she said she hadn't heard anything about possibility of being sent to Albania, and just then the phone rang. She has a phone interview with the Albania people tomorrow morning. Yay, fun with Unicef. So I sent some emails around to people who might know people looking for housing... I guess there's some sort of Rubicon-crossing going on.
There's a website called Albanian.com, Home of Albanians Online, which is running a survey on "What is the main factor you consider naming your Albanian baby" ... that's more or less the only thing in English. (I didn't answer the survey, since I'm not going to have an Albanian baby any time soon, although it's entirely possible I might meet a nice Albanian man here in Belmont, since there's a sizable Albanian population).
Meanwhile, Lonely Planet's Albanian entry says that "The security situation in Albania remains unstable. Visitors need to exercise extreme care, maintaining a high level of personal security awareness. The presence of unexploded munitions along the Albania/Kosovo border is suspected, and travel to the Bajram Curri and Tropoje area in particular should be avoided. Crime is rampant, with armed gangs operating." Should I be worried about Mer? will Unicef take care of her? Although they (Albanians, not Unicef) do have very good turkish coffee... our locksmith made me some turkish coffee once in his shop and it was absolutely lovely. He told me all about moving to New York from Albania and how he built himself up by working two jobs until he could start his own business.
All right. Here's the Unicef Albania link.
Is it just me, or is Albania a frequently-cited "random" place? It crops up in the fourth Harry Potter book, since Voldemort surfaced in Albania, and that's where Bertha Jorkins was killed. It was also the country, in Wag the Dog, with which a fictional conflict is invented... if memory serves, the movie has lots of lines about the relative obscurity of Albania. This site describes it thus: "Why Albania? DeNiro's spin doctor is asked. His response: Why not? Nobody knows anything about Albania. And unfortunately, this is the truth." When I mention Albania to people, they seem to get it confused with Armenia. Even though everyone got the phrase "ethnic Albanians" drilled into their heads during the Kosovo conflict! such craziness.
I should get back to the work that I'm supposed to be paid for doing... although payment at this point is still highly hypothetical... if all goes well, I should be paid $700 August 22nd for the work I've been doing this summer, and then the second week of September I should start receiving my assistantship money. who knows whether this will actually occur?
jane 1:46 PM [+]