Friday, March 6, 2009

The Joke Is Only Funny When It's Not True

A while ago I wrote about some of my Albanian friends giving me a hard time about the emerging financial crisis in the U.S. They had jokingly offered to send "experts" from Albania to advise America on what happens when a pyramid scheme goes bust. We all had a good laugh. I never thought I would live to see the day when a serious analyst would look back to Albania in 1997 for insight into the U.S. condition.

That day has come. This blog post entitled "Albania's 1996 Ponzi scheme frenzy: So, what's America's excuse? is an interesting look back at what happened here and how the Western Capitalist World "tut-tutted" at the naivete of Albanians. Who's laughing now?


Romanian said...


While preparing my trip to Albania I've found your blog which I devoured from A to Z. All your musings and descriptions remind me of Romania which had and still has its own share of contrasts, ironies and East meets West meets Planet Mars mentality.

I'm a a Romanian guy (working in IT business) and will spend my two weeks holiday touring Albania between 18 April - 3 May. Probably with a girl-friend.

I am writing to you asking whether you'd be interested to meet and chat about Albania and maybe even do some trip together (Bashtova? maybe some interesting village that you know).

We'll couchsurf there (I imagine you may know what this concept is about) hence approaching locals, even Yankees, is something natural.

My plans are to do something like that Tirana - Korce (Voskopoje, Dardhe) - Permet - Gjirokaster - Butrint - Vlore - Berat - Durres - Tirana - Kruje. Potentially I'll also check Byllis and Apollonia and your recommendation Basthova Castle. Maybe also some Vlach or former Romanian villages (Romanati I heard was founded by Romanian immigrants).

I have diverse interests - history, ethnography, religions, modernity clash and food too. Albania is a good place to see versions of all of this.

If you have time and mood for this, please drop me a sign at romanian
/at\ gmail.

(all in one word)


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