Monday, February 20, 2006
One thing that cracks me up about living in this crazy place is the use of plastic bags for everything under the sun! Their packaging skills are a little limited. For example, go buy a kilo of butter, they slap it into a plastic bag and off you go. A dozen eggs (wait actually 10 eggs because 12 is just a weird number to use!), they go into a plastic bag and it's your responsibility to not let the knock together on the trek home. Herbs, plastic bag. Ground meat, plastic bag. Olives, plastic bag. Now, the quality of these bags is not very high so they also make for wind catchers when people "dispose" of them and they flutter into the wind and land on the nearest tree branch. The slightly higher quality ones also double for a shoulder bag or backpack when you have numerous things to carry from one location to another. I am assured that in heaven there will be no asking "Paper or plastic"!
One of the things I quickly learned upon moving to Albania is this part of the culture where appearance really counts. But the humurous part to me is the concept of "inside clothes", which we Americans would call "bum clothes", you know the ones you wear to bum around in. The only thing is, there is a limit to how far you can go in those bum clothes here. I think it's the equivalent of a block. You can run to the corner store in your bum clothes, but if you're going any further, you must put on your "strolling clothes", which amount to our "church clothes". Of course that depends on your church nowadays. And the first thing you do when you get home is take off the nice clothes and put on your inside clothes. Does kind of make sense though when you're cooking and don't want to get oil splattered all over that new shirt you just bought! That's food for thought!