The Tiran-ous Second Date

Well, I would like to make sure that everyone knows we made it to Albania okay and in fine health. Besides the fact that we were incredibly tired. Our taxi driver was quick and nice from the airport, and after a little trouble, we found the house we were staying at. It's in a great location, and we're very grateful to the Kocani family for letting us use it while they weren't. Albanian hospitality knows no end.
A quick editor's note: I'm trying to write as many updates as possible, but the lack of wireless internet (free wireless internet) is hurting that a bit. However, we're lucky to have internet here in this house, and we should have internet the rest of the way, but if I'm absent for a while, that's the reason. Not because I don't love you all...
We woke up late this morning, and seeing as we were incredibly worn out after the flight and the day in Munich, that was understandable and prepared for. I was up first, and went out to do a little grocery shopping. I knew where we were, even though I've never served in this branch, and I recognized a market that is run by two brothers. I was brought here my last day in the country by Brett Ellingson, and he introduced me to one of the brothers, whom he had met and baptized. Anyway, I went once, but I didn't exactly recognize the worker, so I didn't say anything. I had to go back to get toilet paper, and I began to speak with him. It was the other brother, but I thought it incredible to know that I knew somebody who owned a small shop in a small country thousands of miles away from my house which has small markets all around that sell things I don't even know. Anyway, cool, right?
We left the house around noon and decided that the first thing we'd do was to go visit with President Clayton. We walked, since we weren't too far away. When we got there, it was odd to go upstairs and be met by a couple I'd never met before: the new office couple. They were nice at least, and said that President would be out shortly. He was, and he came out with that same jolly voice of his and welcomed us into his office. His wife, unfortunately, was out doing last-minute shopping for thank you gifts for various members, so we couldn't meet with her. They leave on Monday, and the mission home is being painted, so they've been in a hotel for a few days. Crazy stuff, you know, them going home. He was excited (I think) to see me, and even though the first thing he asked about was my love life, we eventually moved on to greater things. After chatting and having a nice visit, we took off to g up the gondola to restaurant on the mountain.
My parents and little bro. got their first taste of Albanian buses, although it was full. We got off the last stop and walked toward the station to go up the mountain, when about halfway there, an off-duty guard stops me and tells me that it is closed for service. Bummer! It's a cool trip.
So we turned around and went to the square to go to the museum. When we got out, we walked through traffic to get to the Museum. Closed! Well, it was, but only for a few more hours, so we decided to eat.
We ate at Taivani, a building built by...the Taiwanese. It's a cool place, and the food was cheap and delicious. Afterwards, we went to the Vodafone store to get my pin so I could use my phone. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember my number, so I couldn't get my pin, so I had to get a new one. After a few technical difficulties, we got it.
So, the museum was now opened, so we walked back there and went through. I enjoyed myself, but not everything was translated, so if I wasn't there, a lot of stuff didn't make sense. Somehow we missed the '97 display, but I think the gal directed us away from it because they were getting ready to close it. Oh well.
The next stop was the mosque. I was the only one who had been to a Muslim mosque, so I thought it would be a great experience. Inside of this mosque is very plain, but still very beautiful. Mom even had to put a shall on, so I think the cultural aspects were felt.
We then decided to go see if the Institute Outreach program was going on at the 2nd/4th branch building. It was, and it was english night, so we went into the advanced english class and had the students talk with us. Here, I ran into an Elder Leonard, who apparently killed somebody I knew quite well, but he mumbled the name. Brunson perhaps? If it was somebody reading this, let me know. Actually, I think he said Boomhower. Somebody give Boomi this address to confirm.
I think mom, dad, and Curt had a good time conversing and really talking to people who could...try...to communicate back. Ardit Tefikceli was there, a member I met in my first days as a missionary here. His brother, Beni, was also there, and I was told he's been baptised, so that's way cool. I also met Dorian Mani, who is a long-time member who just came back from Italy, having finished school there. He's a great kid, and we hit it off well.
After saying goodbye to us all, the couple who runs the institute program, the Monson's, showed us a great restaurant on top of a nearby building. My original plan was to go to a revolving restaurant, but I was told it wasn't good at all. The restaurant we did go to, however, was great, and once again, not too expensive. I have been told by many that Albania is getting expensive, and in a way, it is; but there are a lot of things here that haven't changed too much.
We got home late, and hit the hay pretty quick. The power went out, and unlike earlier when it was just a 6 minute flicker, this one's been off for about an hour, so I have no internet. I really do have pics, you'll just have to wait.

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