Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Balkan trip day 11: How to spend Valentines day in Tirana

In the late morning we discussed the program of the day with Shaban. First we would have a walk in Tirana to show Auke and Annechien. After this I had a meeting with a representative of a political movement that is active to promote democratic values for the youth. It was very encouraging to see his professionalism and activities he is developing. Also he was very positive about the 'Center for Dialogue and the promotion of European Values' and he also wants to be involved. After this we had a short meeting with the Albanian minister of foreign affairs to hear his opinion about the demonstrations that happened in January, to explain a bit about the ECPM and its involvement in Albania, the statement we made because concerning the events and the initiative for starting activities that we would like to develop in Albania. He was positive about our activities and about the work of Shaban and the development of his Center for Dialogue and promotion for European values'. Also he invited us to meet us to have a longer meeting the next time when I will be in Tirana. After this we had other meetings with a parliament member from an opposition party and an MP of the biggest governmental party. They were both very positive and cooperative in our plans to develop a dialogue structure and trainings amongst the youth of all the political parties which was seen as very important especially now many political leaders are confused after the events in January.

After the last meeting we wanted to go for a dinner. However in the middle of a very busy road, the motor was broken. While we had to face claxoning by miracle there was a space for the car after the parked cars there and also one other car left. While I kept the place by blocking it with my colossal body Shaban and Auke pushed the car to the side. After that we called a friend of Shaban who came, looked and said that he will come, take the car in the night when there is not too much traffic and to repair it. Later it seemed that the problems were with the starting motor and a benzine pump. I got the feeling that we were creating a whole new car with all the technical problems of the car with spare parts now from Germany, Holland, Croatia and Albania. According to Auke this made the car a truly international car.
We went for a dinner with Auke, Annechien, Shaban and Arber (who helped us a lot during our time in Albania). It was valentine's day today and we got a special Valentine's menu in a restaurant on the top of a building with a wonderful view of the city. We were also a table away from the rapper "Big Ali" who made me even feel "little Leo". Hopefully the car will be fixed tomorrow for our trip to Kosovo.

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