Upon reflection, I have realized that I'm a person who likes new experiences. Tirana is home, now, and the newness has sort of worn off. Now, it's up to me and my friends to actually look for novelty. (Though occasionally, I might say "no" to a new experience that doesn't strike my fancy.)
Last Saturday, Valentine's Day, a bunch of us met up at a jazz club, Take 5, for after dinner drinks and some live music. Though going to Take 5 isn't new, listening to an Italian jazz singer certainly was! She sang maybe 2 songs that I had heard, with a very strong accent. (I still get the giggles thinking about her rendition of "Fever.") Still, it was a good time. Tracey, Ryan and I had fun playing with the face cut-outs prop that was in the hallway. I really enjoyed hanging out with the parents of a 4 year old. They are excellent, down to earth people. Too bad their moving next year.
This week brought another new experience.... coooooold weather. I kept wishing and hoping for a snow day. Alas, no such luck. The mountains are still dusted with snow. I love looking at them when walking around the city.
Amy, Entela and I always take a Friday walk in the park. This Friday we saw a sign of spring. Lambs! They were so cute so I took a ton of pictures. It was also the first time I wore my long underwear. I've been missing so much. Let me just take a minute to say how much I love the Land's End 100% silk long Johns. They are a miracle. I believe that it was my first time feeling warm all week! And it probably was about 3 degrees C.
Yesterday was girls' night. It's the first one we've had in FOREVER. Thank goodness for friends and laughter. We wanted to go to a new restaurant, but ended up at Serendipity. We had only been there once, and Sarah hadn't been with us. It was a taste of home! It has the only "Mexican" food in the city. We split dishes, as we normally do, so that we all could try more food. In danger of sounding like an alcoholic, I have to mention their mojitos, which are the best in the city! The mint and lime are so incredibly fresh! After Serendipity, we went to Tirana Rock, which is a bar modeled after Hard Rock Cafe. We had a great time dancing and listening to live music. A band from Kosovo was playing classic rock. Every decade of rock was represented! I loved it. An Albanian guy bought us a round of drinks because it was his birthday...that's the Albanian way.
Today, Saturday, we went for massages across town. It was my first massage here in Tirana. Excellent! Amy, Tracey and I went over first, then Entela and Sarah joined us. We had REAL chai tea and German apple cake! I had time to read my book club book. It was a wonderful day.
So there is my weekly update. It's my new, conscious goal to find newness in this familiar city. Then, at least my blogs might stay fresh and interesting!