Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How much...???

Here is a glimpse into the cost of living here in Tirana, Albania.  I decided to figure how much things cost in $USD.  So here are things I purchased or paid for in the last week. 

  • oatmeal, bought in bulk, $1.31 per pound
  • eggs, with chicken poop on them, $0.14 each
  • oranges from Greece, $0.43 per pound
  • mandarin oranges, from local growers, $0.43 per pound
  • olives, in bulk from local growers, $1.31 per pound
  • snickers bar, $0.48
  • honey, from local growers, $4.37 per pound
  • rotisserie roasted chicken, from vendor on the street, $4. 33 each
  • filtered water in container, $0.68 per gallon
  • telephone service $ 6.07 per month, free calls/texts to all missionary numbers, and  250mb data
  • internet service, unlimited $5.85 per month
  • diesel fuel, $6.78 per gallon
  • milk, $5.64 per gallon
  • notary public signature, $30.00
I find it always interesting the cost of some items, generally the produce is all local grown, very fresh and very inexpensive.

Then there are other things like phone and internet service, compared to the US standard crazy inexpensive, and the notary signature, crazy expensive.

Also, a gallon of milk costs almost as much as a gallon of diesel fuel. I buy much more milk than diesel fuel...I am so thankful for the great gas mileage I get on my little car.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Gëzuar Vitin e Ri....!

New Year's Eve in Tirana, Albania...from my bedroom window. Last year I watched this event from the top of a 9 story building, it was pretty amazing to look in every direction and see amazing aerial fireworks...and hear the constant explosions of intense firecrackers. Last night, it was crazy, almost scary,  from my apartment window...

When I closed the window after watching for about 5 minutes, my clothes and my bedroom smelled like "fireworks smoke...is that sulfur?"  This spectacle lasts for about 30 minutes...and longer.  It started with great intensity about 15 minutes before midnight...and was still going strong at 12:15am...even this morning...there continues to be some firecracker celebration.  The firecrackers in Albanian...not the mild mannered "cap gun level of noise...firecrackers"...but the ones that sound like something is exploding.  (pretty sure that the firecrackers/fireworks sold on the street here in Albanian...pretty much illegal in the US.  They make me jump...I look out the window and I see kids...lots of kids...laughing with delight as they "blow up" more firecrackers.