• 0

Blog

Snowfall

The Malësori or “Highlanders” are famous for (and pride themselves on living with) the harshness of the mountains, and the winter in particular. In summer, one of the first things Alfred told me as I was oohing and ahhing about the beauty of Valbona, was “Yes, but the winter is very harsh – Three Meters […]

Read More

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig

I’m just waking up at 3 am, back at Freddy’s Hostel in Tirana. In an hour I have to get up to meet Eri and catch the minibus up to Bajrum Curri and then on to Valbona. You would think that after 24 hours of traveling, involving four airports, no sleep for 24 hours before […]

Read More

Dr. Robert Elsie, Foremost Authority on Albania Checks Us Out

On my way out of Albania the last time, I discovered (the the shock of my credit card) a sneaky secret resource of the Tirana Airport — its bookstore! In ten minutes in that bookstore I spent more than I had in two weeks in Albania (and then limped my way across several continents, hauling […]

Read More

Civilization is not Looking so Civilized

Something that’s been puzzling me slipped into place this morning. The question is something that people keep asking me, one way or another, and I haven’t been able to answer to any of our satisfaction yet. Put simply, it amounts to: Why do you prefer Albania to New York? By every system of modern reckoning, […]

Read More

In Which The Cow Comes Home

On October 11th, Alfred and I traveled back to Valbona from Tirana. A strange feeling of weight lifting, the closer we get to the mountains – to home! It’s strange to travel with Alfred, because of course he must have done this journey a thousand times, seriously and probably, and for me, COME to think […]

Read More

At the Natural Science Museum

It’s a beautiful morning in Tirana, October, 2009. I am what is still new to me, but what I suspect could become habit, the guest of the Selimaj. The Selimaj are a fis or clan or family and without it having been stated, I am under their besa, and if you remove the old-world terminology, […]

Read More

Back in the Balkans

Pershendetje! I’m writing this from an internet cafe in Qyteti Studenti — “Student City” in Tirana. I made it! Albania is real again, New York a weird Bladerunner-esque dream . . .

Read More

Thinking about Traveling

I have had a stunning new realization. It’s simply this: That when I’m in New York, Albania is imaginary. And when, tomorrow, I get on those airplanes, New York will fade and become strange — just a story I tell. And for these interim days, I’m neither here nor there — existing somewhere in between. […]

Read More

Going Back

Thursday night – next Monday I’ll be getting on a plane to fly back to Albania . . . . Why is it that anything one is passionate about so quickly becomes an esoteric exercise? I’ve been back in New York for two months now. For the first month, it was easy enough to live […]

Read More

Full Disclosure: About your Author

My name is Catherine Bohne, and at least initially, I will be your author for this website.  I am an American woman who owns a bookstore and lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York (the world).   Last January, emerging from eight exhausting years of running a struggling independent bookstore full-tilt and non-stop, I suddenly woke up, shook […]

Read More