Thursday, October 2, 2008

embarrassment to a new degree

While journaling at the park today an Albanian gentlemen approached me and asked if I spoke English. When I looked up from my notebook I saw two guys standing in front of me waiting for a response. I informed them that I did speak English and this one guy, Edmond, began a long speech about his life, his 9 brothers and sisters, his experiences in Italy and Greek, and then finished the story by telling me how badly he speaks English...I guess he wasn't paying attention to my Albanian!
Anyhow, Edmond eventually invited me to join him and his friend for coffee (which is what everyone does here) at one of the cafes. After about an hour of talking about Albanian history and languages, Edmond asked me about my life. Well I accidently mentioned my love for sports and how I played soccer, to which he interrupted me to clarify that he had heard me correctly. It took a while to convince him but I told him that I had in fact played soccer (or futboll as it is known here) for 12 years. Well he immediately challenged me to a game. 
So we left the bar and headed to a local park in the center of town. Edmond knew one of the street vendors and "borrowed" one of the balls for sell so that we could play. And then he promptly kicked my butt in a game. Though I made some good moves, Edmond was way better. At the end he says to me, "You're good and I see that you have the intellect for the game and I am not being mean, but maybe it's that you're fat and are slower than me. You see I am thin because I smoke, but I am fast. That is why I am better than you.
Albanians, to say the least, are a lot more forward than Americans but somehow in a nice way I guess? Just one of the several cultural differences that I am adjusting to, and as an anthropologist I guess that's what we do. But my lesson for the day...never again mention that I have played futboll! 

1 comment:

  1. You should say you smoke next time and see if that's as confusing!!!