A few days ago, Albania finally hit one of it’s most exciting times of year.. I was innocently buying some veggies from my favorite stand one afternoon. As I made small talk with the owner, I asked her when cherry season usually begins. Apparently, it already had and she promised to bring me a bag of fresh picked goodies tomorrow. Folks, Cherry season has arrived!!
It is the start of summer and the weather is getting warm already. Now, hot enough that running in shorts and a tank top is more than necessary. As it warms up, I need to succumb to the fact that runs in the early morning is the only reasonable time to get some miles in. After my run, I didn’t want to waste time showering, so I headed to the market still dressed in my tank and shorts. I had no idea that it would raise concern with every single owner there. They didn’t think it was warm enough to be wearing a sleeveless shirt and were nearly appalled that I did. And they weren’t about to let me wander off without telling me so. As I wandered to the end stand, I barely noticed all the stares. That is just a normal part of life here. But the endless questions I endured as I walked back out to the street about my clothing choices could not be ignored. Cherries and tank tops, apparently not an Albanian mix.
It can be hard readjusting to Albania after visiting the other awesome countries throughout Europe. It is even harder after seeing the loved ones that you miss the most. Which is why, after returning from France, I sank into a hole of lonesomeness in Permet. Luckily, when I walk around site, all of the neighborhood kids run up to me. Questions in english and shqip are fired back and forth, usually asking if I have any candy. There are a few girls that get more excited than the others and run up, screaming Ammmberrr, Amberrrr and hug me. I miss my neices and nephews a lot in the states and I have found that I look forward to seeing these kids. This last week, one of the girls who usually sprints down the street to me, has barely waved in my direction. Which had me wondering, did I just get dumped from this little girl’s cool list?
As I contemplate these last few weeks, I came to a stark realization. Buying cherries for the first time of the year was the highlight of my month. I felt sincerely sad when an eight year old girl didn’t act excited to see me. And I took a selfie with a cow. I think it may be time to travel out of site for a few days!