Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ironing out the wrinkles

When I first came to Albania, I lived with an Albanian family for three months. This time taught me so much, good and bad, and I would never trade the experience for anything! One thing I learned is that with the lack of clothes dryers here, they iron EVERYTHING! They even iron their unmentionables, towels, sheets, everything. I have done more ironing here in Albania in the past two years than I have my whole life, hands down. I don't have that nice option of throwing something in the dryer for 10 minutes and throwing it on. It gets a little rough in the winter when you either have to hope they dry before freezing or else find a place inside and hope that condensation doesn't cause mold! So next time you pull those nice warm clothes out of the dryer, praise God for the convenience!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

the bus stops here!

I saw quite the site the other day and just thought I would share this one with you. I saw the "Ring road" bus stopped at an intersection where there was no official bus stop, but he still opened the door to let a young, skimpy-dressed girl onto the bus. But afterwards, he slammed the door shut and would not let either an older woman or another young man board the bus. They stood outside the bus pleading with the bus driver to let them on, but to no avail! Chalk it up to lack of laws against discrimination!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

appearance counts!

A hard adjustment to Albanian culture was hearing "You're fat. You need to eat less." Even though the literally means "healthy", they use it with the same connotations. Often, my mental response is "How exactly is that supposed to make me feel?", especially when the comments come from my Christian friends who think nothing of it. And in general, Albanians are not very tall. So needless to say, when I walk down the street, I stick out a bit. And the response is that people strain their neck looking at me, and sometimes making comments like "Mashallah". This means something is really good, and is a saying to keep away the evil eye. But sometimes I want to Mashallah them in the nose when men say it while I'm passing by. Pray that God will affirm to me that my inner is more important to Him than my outer, and that He finds me extravagant.