Monday, July 6, 2009

Made in China

Today Albanians who return from working abroad are building monstrous homes and furnishing them with the latest and greatest “everything from China”. Having seen the quality of stone masonry and wood carving these people are capable of I am frustrated that they don't see what they are losing as they reach for “made in China” instead of “made in Albania”. As I admire the hand woven rugs that are hanging to dry in people's yards, I am saddened when I see these lovely rugs returning to their living spaces with the “made in China” rugs thrown on top. Pretty soon the whole world will be made in China.

Korce is a great city to see the evolution of Albania over 100 years in building styles. The older building is from the early 20th century, then, of course the worker's paradise, and lastly the oversized modern dream houses...

There are a few things that will be a long time changing like long coffee breaks and hospitality.

One of the charming curiosities of hospitality unique to Albania takes the form of slippers. If you are a plastic slipper maker then Albania is a market you definitely want to corner. Shoes in the living quarters just don't happen and bare feet are not tolerated for a single moment. This translates into plastic slipper paradise. No self-respecting hotel room is without them and every household has heaps for family members and guests. Don't you dare try to enter someone's home without borrowing a pair of slippers to laze around in!

1 comment:

pathebikeguy said...

Just like in Vietnam. Slippers are provided in stores...peoples homes...hotel rooms. No bare outdoor shoes allowed