Tirana, originally uploaded by jhoko.

Tirana, the capital of Albania, is super weird. It’s not a pretty city, so one day they decided to paint a bunch of buildings really insanely, and it just made it feel more chaotic and crazy and disorderly. But better. Some of the unpainted buildings are a little depressing, but the ones with stripes and arrows and rainbows all over them kinda make you forget about the giant cracks in the walls or the burning trash in the street or the fact that there are a lot of things wrong with this country.

But Tirana is also really awesome in ways that aren’t weird at all. The cafe culture is incredible. Everywhere you look there are beautiful new bars and restaurants with trendy furniture, loud music, and cheap drinks. On Ismail Kedare, the street named after the author, there are so many bars and restaurants and cafes that it is hard to choose. It’s not Paris, that’s for sure, but it has a charm all its own and a much better price point. More to come.

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