Entering Albania, the land of car washes

Trip Start May 06, 2007
Trip End Jul 24, 2008

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Flag of Albania  ,
Friday, December 14, 2007

As the bus pulled up to the main square of Shkodra, a small city in northern Albania, the bus driver pointed to a bus on the other side of the square and said "Tirana".  We boarded that bus and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  About 30 minutes later after every seat on the bus was full and there were a couple of people standing in the aisles it was finally time to leave.

The bus ride to Tirana was about 3 hours long.  I tried to stay awake to watch the countryside and see what Albania looked like, but my heavy eyelids won that battle.  From what I did see Albania reminded me more of South America than Eastern Europe.  The only paved road I saw until we reached Tirana was the one we were driving on (and even that would barely pass for paved in a more developed country).  There were people out in the streets and collections of little shops selling randomly specific things.  Strangely enough there were also mass quantities of car washes, especially as we approached Tirana.  Most of these were of the pull up to this spot and let me have at it with a hose and a bucket variety, but there were a couple of slightly more modern ones too.  I later learned that cars are pretty much the only things Albanians care about keeping clean.
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