Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties

More fun in the Albanian mountains

After an incredible (and incredibly cheap) gourmet meal, I waddled several kilometers back towards the cable car to get down the cliff.

When I was nearly there, the assortment of local cheeses informed me that they wanted to stay in the park. I was close enough to the park entrance that going in the woods was not an option.

I stopped at a privately-owned coffee shop. Two customers were playing chess there. One ran to get the owner, who was busy chasing a feral horse out of his garden. I ordered a coffee, then ran for the toilet.

Then I found that the toilet wouldn't flush, as the tank was empty.

I did my best to explain to the owner. He brought over a bottle of mineral water, and poured it over my hands so I could wash them (instructing me to use more soap, and indicating I should do a more thorough job). He then ground some coffee ... and discovered that there was no water for the fancy gleaming coffee machine, and no place to pour in bottled water. So he poured me a can of Nescafe iced coffee. He only wanted to charge me 50 leks, but I felt bad about messing up his bathroom and wasting his mineral water, so I paid him double. That's still less than the price of a chocolate bar from the vending machine at work.

Most buildings in Albania have a horizontal metal cylinder on the roof, apparently as a water storage tank for when the water system loses pressure. Most businesses have a metal box the size of a refrigerator lying on its side, sitting out front or in an alley. This box is a diesel generator that takes over when the power goes out.

In Kosovo, it's the same, except the water tanks are blue Fibreglass, shaped like a fat hippo with stubby legs.
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