Tirana, death announcements
This kind of death announcements posted at every street corner is not seen only in Albania but in the whole Balkanic area. Nevertheless, this is a practice that always surprises visitors from Western Europe and the Americas where this is not done.
Tirana, weighting booth, 1988
The booth on the first photo did not sell ice creams and at first sight, it was not easy to guess what they were selling.
The second photo shows that it is a weighting station! On top is written " Sport kalitje shendet" and "Peshorë ekzakt", which means "Sport enhances joy" and "exact scale".
I have made a close-up on the third photo to show that this is not only a scale to weight people but that you can also bring anything to weight on a smaller scale.
Tirana, ice-cream booth
Though we were at the beginning of May, I noticed that there were everywhere small booth or small carriages that sold ice creams. One must remember that in former Yugoslavia, Montenegrin were well known for their ice creams, all over the country. Montenegro is the first neighbor, north to Albania and it seems that Albanians have the same skill. As ice creams are not my cup of tea, I cannot tell how they taste.
- Food and Dining
kissing 4 times
In Abania, not only among women, but men as well kiss each other four times on the cheek when greeting.
Recently, due to influences from abroad people may kiss twice as well and between men, just a firm hand shake. This is more spread in Tirana, as for other cities, the local custom is stricktely preserved.
There are many cafes all around Tirana, full in every hour of the day - and rather empty during the night.
One of the reasons behind this is that some of the very best working meetings take place in the cafes. It is important to have a good social relation in order to build a good working relation afterwards.
Yes, or No?
This is a custom not only in Tirana but all over Albania. Foreign travelers might be a bit confused when a local will say YES, but will move his head horizontaly - like saying NO. Vice versa, the locals say NO, by gesturing it as YES (the head moves vertically).
Walking through Tirana on a Sunday morning along the main boulevard, I came across a display of traditional dancing & a band playing.