Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Albanian bargains

After a quiet weekend during which I was nursing an upcoming cold, Monday was a busy day with meetings that I had scheduled at the office. Today, Tuesday, I had to run around quite a bit with other tasks on my to-do list, but thanks to my trusted driver I was able to accomplish more chores in pretty good time.

The setup of facilities at the office is proceeding well. Two technicians came to install 2 HVAC units, which are going to be a blessing during the summer or winter. Tomorrow I expect an electrician to place additional outlets around the rooms to accomodate future electrical needs.

While my assistant was supervising the HVAC workers I was able to go to the cemetery to visit the family plot taking advantage of the good morning weather. The sun has been shining bright every morning since my arrival, and the midday hours are already very hot here, but in late afternoon storms fly in from behind the Dajti mountain chain with roaring thunders and give the city a good soak for a couple of hours. This change refreshes and clears the air for the night.

My excellent driver, a mature man whom I have known now for years now, is also a dependable handy man. He always makes himself and his car available to me anytime I need him, and has offered to install some shelving units we planned for the office. Thus, today I also went shopping with him to the Casa Italia center, where there is a well furnished store that, naturally, sells a variety of Italian made goods.

As we were looking around my driver was appalled by the posted prices and suggested that I go with him to a local carpentry shop. There he knew the owner, who, within 20 minutes, cut to measure and refinished the shelves I needed at the incredible price of 1/10th of what the cost would have been at the Italian store!

Tomorrow, my driver, who charges me about $6.00/hr, will pick me up and, after we purchase the necessary brackets, again at another local place he knows, plans to complete the job at the office.

I am really blessed to know such good people here in Tirana, and the same can be said for the many friends that I also have in this city. BTW, what's also great is that every service and every deal here is always furnished with a smile!

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