Experiencing Technical Difficulties (resonant) wrote,
Experiencing Technical Difficulties

Coming back from Dijit National Park, in Albania, part 2

Although it was dark,the city was still very active. I passed a driving school, with dozens of students in a brightly-lit classroom learning stunt-driver skills.

I kept walking downhill towards the centre of the city.

Traffic was quite busy too, not diminishing or slowing because of the dark and rain. In a street big enough for one lane of traffic in Toronto, there were cars going both ways, with motorcycles going both ways in the space between the car lanes. There were no sidewalks, and walls on both sides. I followed an elderly lady, who confidently walked down the Sid of the road as if it was daylight with no traffic. The drivers magically did not hit either of us, yet did not seem to maneuver or slow a bit.

There are no drain covers in Tirana. There are indications that there once were covers, but they seem to have been sold for scrap metal. I soon learned that round or square puddles should not be stepped in, unless I wanted to be soaked to my knee or higher. Unfortunately, it was too dark to see many of these holes.

I ended up trapped on a wedge of dirt right in the middle of an intersection. I had been following someone who was walking in the right direction, but got distracted when I stepped into an open storm drain hole. Now multiple lanes of cars, motorcycles, three-wheeled trucks, and motorcycles welded to two-wheeled carts were zooming by in all directions. My glasses were covered in water, there was no light other than streaks of headlights and taillights, and I was terrified. I wanted to get out of there, but there were no breaks in traffic.

So,I just stepped out into the zooming cars and walked forward.

There was no honking or squeals of brakes (not that anyone could have stopped on the slippery road). The cars just flowed around me. Tirana has amazing drivers.

After that, I got to an area with sidewalks, then found a taxi. This was good, as I was totally lost. Not just I'm-in-the-neighborhood-but-can't-find-the-street lost, but am-I-even-on-the-right-side-of-the-city lost.

The driver got lost, too, but called my hotel for directions, and got me there eventually.
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