Fun Facts About Albanian Culture

After living in this unique, easygoing place for about six months, here’s what I’ve learned. Now, this list focuses on the positive or neutral aspects of life here instead of the negatives, because no one in the entire world wants to hear one of THOSE expats whine about little stuff like bad drivers. (Insert eyeContinue reading “Fun Facts About Albanian Culture”

5 Albanian Foods to Try

Albanian food is good, first of all. It’s heavy on meats and cheeses, but with Greek food alongside to balance things out. The nation Greece is just to the southeast, which explains the presence of giros as pretty much the only available “fast food”. (Hey, none of us are complaining!) This also means that GreekContinue reading “5 Albanian Foods to Try”

Tattooed in Okinawa

I finally worked up the nerve to compliment the owner of BB Coffeeshop on his Polynesian tattoos, and ask him which places he would recommend. He gave me a name – Spiderweb Tattoo Parlor. After mulling tattoo ideas off and on for months, I had finally chosen a word to place on my body. (AboutContinue reading “Tattooed in Okinawa”

Top 5 Places to See in Korcë, Albania

Korcë may not be a large town, but it is quite well known in Albania. Its mountainous climate is noticeably different from the lower Mediterranean areas, making the winters snowier and the summers cooler. People from the capital of Tirana like to come up to Korcë for summer getaways. This town has so much toContinue reading “Top 5 Places to See in Korcë, Albania”

Culture Shock

Have you ever been homesick? Maybe you were young and away at summer camp, and started missing your mom (or her cooking). Maybe you were older and away at university, and started missing your dog. Or your friends from your hometown, or just having a sofa and a fully stocked fridge instead of bunk bedsContinue reading “Culture Shock”

Christ and the Chapel Above the City

Nothing. I walked into the stone chapel and felt nothing, of course. Two days after my arrival in Albania, my brother Freeman and sister in law Natalie drove me up the hill to see the large white cross and the small stone chapel overlooking the city of Korce. We parked the car in the lotContinue reading “Christ and the Chapel Above the City”

VPNs and the Great Firewall

For foreigners, life goes on as normal until a national holiday or politically sensitive anniversary rolls around. That’s when the VPNs stop working. I never could get used to how eerie that felt – you think the VPN is the workaround, the sneaky backdoor around the Great Firewall, but then you find out they canContinue reading “VPNs and the Great Firewall”

What’s Suzhou Like? (Part 2)

The last post discussed Suzhou in very general terms, so here’s the good stuff – inside details on where to go, what to do, and where everyone hangs out on the weekend! (The focus here is on places that are maximally accessible to non-Chinese speakers like myself.) Suzhou Center is so obvious it has toContinue reading “What’s Suzhou Like? (Part 2)”