Sunday, April 27, 2014

Oddities in Tirana

It does not take much walking around Tirana to find some unusual sights. Here some I encountered the other day, which interested me enough to take a picture of them.

This is an apartment window at street level, but it comes handy for more than light when one lacks a balcony where to dry the laundry. 

The glass doors of a lot of shops, when in open position, extend, for some peculiar reason, beyond the width of the steps leading into the stores, the majority of which are not at actual street level. These openings are so spotless that careful attention must be paid not to inadvertently bump into them when walking along.  They remind me of a funny advertising in the U.S. for a glass cleaning product when two birds crash, while chatting, against an invisibly clear window!

All sorts of lines envelop power city poles everywhere in Tirana.  This massive maze allows not only the supply of electricity, but the connection of telephones and the huge increase of online networks. Apparently, no one seems to eliminate what is no longer needed or is not working; additions are accommodated by just ‘dropping’ new extensions from balconies and hooking them up to whatever pole is available close by. This city is fortunate not to have strong winds or snow storms (a light dusting may last a few hours every so many years!), but some of these lines at times are dropped during a violent rain pour. 

Although many city dwelling Albanians have now adopted pets, there is still an inordinate number of stray dogs around the capital and it’s amazing how they survive. They congregate around garbage disposals where they are befriended by men who collect plastic discards, and some people even put out some food for them on their sidewalk.  The oddity in this case is where they sleep, sometimes right in the middle of a busy street, or on a sunny sidewalk, totally undisturbed by passersby.  

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