Thank you for being so generous. You work entirely too hard and I wish I could speak perfect Shqip and tell you to relax. Despite what you think, I can wash my own clothes and am a perfectly functional 22 year old. I will separate colors, I promise. If only you would tell me where it is you’ve hidden the clothesline. If only I could tell you that I do talk to my family back home on something called Skype, that I’m not depressed but am studying, and that one serving of dinner really is enough. I enjoy our routine every morning when I get up, you watch me get ready and eat breakfast and we say goodbye. I enjoy more when you greet me at the door every day after school and offer me an apple, which I gladly accept, and we watch the beauty channel together in silence. You have the biggest smile and it gives me joy that my Shqip is starting to sound like yours: harsh and extra expressive. If only I could understand you, if only you could understand me. Instead, with great pleasure, I receive your appreciative stare comparable only to the stare of the aliens in Galaxyquest.
I’m sure by now you’ve read my comments on the bunkers exploding in the background of everyday Librazhd. It’s hard not to notice the concrete mushrooms sticking partially submerged in the ground almost everywhere. There have been several projects revolving around these domes, there is even an ongoing PC project to name them on all known hiking trails around Albania. Below is a project I found particularly interesting, worth reading:
Behold, the yoga dhe çlodhem playlist. It took me a week, but I finally have the ability to say: “Mama Xeni, unë shkoj në dhoma per një ore, unë do të bëj yoga.” After dark, and before the feast of a meal I get every night for dinner, I take a moment to get away. To pretend Bear and Lila are back with me and reflect.
Scenic World - Beirut
Wash. - Bon IVer
Take Care - Beach House
Perpetuum Mobile - Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Spectrum - Florence + The Machine
When I Grow Up (Bassnectar rmx.) - Fever Ray
Feel It In My Bones - Tiesto
Islands (Nosaj rmx.) - The XX
The Suburbs - Mr. Little Jeans
Everything In Its Right Place - Radiohead
Old Flame - Kimbra
Song For You - Alexi Murdoch
By Your Grace - Krishna Das
At some point of everyday I am scared, frustrated, angry, happy, sad, pleased, enthusiastic, and/or too busy to reflect on how I’m feeling. PST is so tiring, everyday I feel my life is on tumble dry. I’m so dirty and I already feel mental miles away from anything Western. Sometimes I worry for my mind, my body, and my general outlook. But then I breathe and remind myself that if they, the people of Albania, can do it, so can I.