July 15, 2010 by jessperriam
Uh… shitet is Albanian for ‘sale’. And yes, Albanians pronounce their words how they’re written.
But honestly, Albania really is on sale… or shitet. Can I say that one more time for shitets and giggles?
I’m going to stop being so juvenile. Right. About…. Now.
I don’t know how much I’ve spent in Albania since I arrived about five days ago. Mostly because I’m staying with a friend so there’s no accommodation to pay for and you kick in a bit for food and, you know what it’s like. You pay people for their hospitality with your company and endearingness.
But a conservative estimate would have me having spent about AUD$40. Max. That includes sending parcels to Australia, shouting Amy a coffee and paying for a few groceries and a Secret Santa present (yes, Christmas in July that feels like Christmas in December. Will I ever have a white Christmas, fake or not?).
I went to the fruit and veg markets downstairs and paprika (yes, the real stuff, not dried) is 50 leke. That’s 50 cents in Australia. Per kilogram.
Posting parcels and postcards to Australia cost 920 leke ($9.20), but to send them back to Albania once they’d made it to Australia would cost you double that. And that would be via sea mail.
But wait, there’s more.
A jar of pasta sauce, two 500ml bottles of Albania’s finest beer and three packets of beef ham (kid you not) flavoured chips set me back 600 leke ($6). I can’t be bothered figuring out how much I’d get that for in Woolworths, but you could safely quadruple the price.
Fancy a nightcap? Fancy some ice cream to go with that nightcap?
In Albania you can get a glass of Baileys for 200 leke ($2) – yes, bowling club prices… in 1992! And for the sweet tooth in us all, four generous scoops of ice cream is on its way for 100 leke.
Albania – I love you if not just for your cost of living. Your people are kind, generous and friendly too, but more about that in a later post.
So if I were the head honcho of marketing Albania to the world’s tourists, I would probably use this tagline:
“Albania: Turkey/Greece/Italy at 1975 prices.”
Oh. And shitet. Tee hee.