Don’t mind me while I’m just writing a hitchhiking sign in the middle of nowhere in Albania! In this picture, Dongbum and I are on our way southward from Korçë to Leshkovik after meeting for the second time in Pogradec. Korçë is a town, but also an Albanian beer brand. Dongbum took this photo of me with his good camera and shared it with me today. It’s a pretty sweet photo in my opinion. None of the photos I take myself are this candid.
At first, I couldn’t remember exactly where he took this photo. Then I did some digging to find out that it’s at this abandoned gas station nearby Kamenicë. Turns out Albania has been doing some investing into improving the roads here. So perhaps this road isn’t that abandoned anymore.
Dongbum tells me that the times he wandered or hitchhiked alone in Albania and other Balkan countries, people would often call him Chinese. Shouting “Kina! Kina!” He really doesn’t like that because of the history of South Korea and China. This is not something I’ve been taught in school or have read about, so I wonder what it is. This kind of quick and false judgment by Albanians hasn’t happened yet while we’ve been traveling together, but I’m expecting it will.
He also said that when people stop to actually have a chat, he can tell them he’s from Korea. In response, people often say he’s the first Korean to ever visit [insert small Albanian village name]. I think that’s perhaps the upside of being a foreigner in these lands. And now I wonder how many Albanians have visited South Korea.
#Korçë #Shqipëri #Shqip #KorçaBirra #middleofnowhere (at Korçë County)