The room where we lived, Vlora

The room where we lived, Vlora

Some people say that it would have been better for Albania to have experienced war than communism. As it is, communism left its mark everywhere, like an atomic bomb.

It was in this small room that my mother and I had to live after my father went to prison, and we were forced to leave our apartment above the bank. My father joined us when he was released. It’s hard to believe we lived here for eight years, because at that time, there was hardly room for a bed.

When a window was finally added it was located up high, so that only a small piece of sky could be seen. On a cold winter Sunday my mother was consoled by the thought that her relatives in Greece were gazing on this same sky. The people, who are now living here, a family of Gypsies, impressed us with their cordiality.

Vintage Video:
Enver Hoxha on TV, Vlora

One night at my brother-in-law’s, we watched a news exposé concerning former leader Enver Hoxha, who distributed money to other countries while his own people were starving. Martha was fascinated by the video, since she had never seen the former dictator perform, and proceeded to photograph the TV.