ALBANIJA – ALBANIA – SHQIPËRIA

 

Bicikl se brižljivo čuva na terasi / Bicycle carefully stored on the balcony


Bunkeri su i dalje prisutni na svakom koraku / Bunkers still present everywhere

Etem Bej džamija u centru Tirane / Ethem Bey Mosque in the centre of Tirana

Fasade vedrih boja u centru grada / Façades in light colours in the city centre

Narodni muzej ukrašen mozaikom koji se naziva Albanci / National Museum with mozaic named Albanians

Ostaci antičkog amfiteatra / Remains of ancient amphitheatre

Prodavnica novina u unutrašnjosti zemlje / Newsstand in the countryside

Spomenik Skenderbegu u centru Tirane / Monument of Skanderbeg in the centre of Tirana

Starac s biciklom na plaži u Draču / Old man with a bicycle on the beach in Durrës

Centar Tirane i proslava stogodisnjice nezavisnosti zemlje-Centre of Tirana celebrating 100 years of independence of Albania

Centar Tirane i proslava stogodišnjice nezavisnosti zemlje-Centre of Tirana celebrating 100 years of independence of Albania

Centar Tirane u toku proslave stogodisnjice nezavisnosti zemlje-Centre of Tirana celebrating 100 years of independence of Albania

Centar Tirane i proslava stogodišnjice nezavisnosti zemlje-Centre of Tirana celebrating 100 years of independence of Albania

Probijam se kroz šume bunkera i predrasuda o ovoj nekada zaboravljenoj zemlji. Bunkeri su stari i zapušteni i nema ko da ih ukloni, pa stoje kao nemo svedočanstvo bliske neslavne prošlosti. Iz vazduha bi sigurno delovali kao sami Albanci sa svojim tradicionalnim belim kapicama. Prolazak lokalnim putevima svedoči o tome zašto je nazivaju zemljom orlova, posebno kad se nađete na obodu planine iza koje zjapi ambis koji nije obezbeđen. Zanimljivo je, međutim, da se isti takav ambis nalazi i sa druge strane puta. Dakle, vožnja – kao orlov let.

Veoma prijatan utisak ostavlja jednostavnost i dobrota ovih ljudi koji su ostali izolovani i, samim tim, neiskvareni tokom skoro pedeset godina totalitarnog režima Envera Hodže. Ali ono što režim nije uspeo, moderna Evropa, koja je na pragu, sigurno hoće.

Prestonica Tirana postepeno izrasta u moderan grad u tranziciji, kako se popularno kaže na prostorima Balkana; stare zgrade u centru grada deluju potpuno nestvarno onako obnovljene i presvučene pastelnim bojama, kao da priradaju nekom karipskom prostoru. Mala džamija i spomenik legendarnom heroju Skender-begu uglavnom čine srce glavnog grada, uz Operu i zgradu vlade, čiji zid ispunjava koloritni mozaik ogromnih razmera sa temom iz revolucije. Poneki stari fijaker proveze zalutalog turistu kroz opasno mnoštvo polovnih automobila tek uvezenih iz Nemačke. Naglašavam opasno jer je ovo tek prva generacija automobila u ovoj zemlji koja, nažalost, u doba poluvekovne izolacije skoro da nije znala ni za kakve tekovine savremene civilizacije. Možda to i nije tako loše jer od saznanja kuda sve to vodi, neznanje se čini boljim izborom.

Na pomen ove zemlje uvek se setim romana Zoe Mome Kapora, koji je sigurno aludirao na Albaniju kao na mesto sa koga se beži. Danas se tu vraća kapital, kupuje se morska obala baš kao i u susednoj Crnoj Gori. Drač je najveći lučki grad Albanije na obali Jonskog mora i mogućna turistička destinacija u budućnosti, kada se, pre svega, očiste obale i plaže. Tada će verovatno iščeznuti i onaj usamljeni starac u pohabanom mantilu šuškavcu, koji vuče svoj isto tako stari bicikl peščanom plažom, koja nema drugu namenu osim da bude staza s pogledom na more, iza koga je neizvesnost nekog drugog sveta. Bunkeri su već odavno prošlost, samo nema ko da ih ukloni i tako ih izbriše iz sećanja.

I oni su deo plaže.

April 2002.

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I fight my way through a jungle of concrete bunkers and my own prejudices about this long forgotten country. The bunkers are old and abandoned and there is no one to dismantle them – they stand as a mute reminder of the infamous, not so distant past. Seen from the air above, they would probably look like Albanians themselves – with their traditional white skullcaps. Passing down the local roads you get to understand why Albania has been called ‘the land of the eagles’ – especially as you get to the edge of a mountain cliff where an abyss is agape. Interestingly enough, if you look over the other ledge of the unsecured road, an equally threatening abyss welcomes you there too. So your ride resembles the flight of an eagle.

There is a pleasant feel about the simplicity and kindness of the Albanian people, who spent almost fifty years in isolation under the totalitarian regime of Enver Hoxha, and therefore remained unspoilt. However, what had not been altered by the regime, surely would be by the advancement of modern European ways, looming at Albania’s doorstep.

The capital – Tirana – is slowly developing into a modern city ‘in transition’, a common term in the Balkans these days; the old buildings in the centre appear surreal, restored and painted in pastel shades as though they have been transported from a Caribbean island. A small mosque and a monument of the legendary hero Skenderbeg are at the heart of the city centre, alongside the Opera house and the Government building, whose side wall is adorned by a gigantic colourful mosaic with a revolutionary theme. From time to time an old fashioned horse carriage would carry an accidental tourist, navigating through a scary throng of second hand cars, just imported from Germany. I emphasize the scariness of it all, because this is only the first generation of automobiles in the country that has, in half a century of isolation, unfortunately, remained oblivious to the products of the modern age. However, it all may be not as bad as it seems, because this ignorance now seems preferable to the realisation of all the evils brought about by the modern technology.

Whenever this country is mentioned, I always recall Zoe, a novel by Momo Kapor, in which he must have referred to Albania as a place from which everyone was trying to escape. Today, capital is being poured into it and piece by piece, the coast is being sold away, much the same as in neighbouring Montenegro. Durres is the largest Albanian port on the Ionian Sea, and could become a tourist destination in the future, once the coast and the beaches have been cleaned up. Then perhaps he will vanish too – an old solitary man in a shabby raincoat, dragging his ancient bicycle along the sandy seashore, which is but a walkway with a view of the sea – the other side of which lies an unknown and uncertain world. Bunkers have long been forgotten, but there is no one to remove them and erase them from the memory.

So, they too remain part of the beach.

April 2002

 

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