I have been back in Albania for about a week now. The readjustment has been as I expected, not terribly difficult but not the most enjoyable thing either.
My friend David picked me up at the airport and informed me that power had been out a couple days from 9am to 9pm. What would you do when you heard such news? I don't know if it was the combination of sleep deprivation and jet lag or a general coping mechanism but when I heard this, I just laughed. Think about it. What would you do during your day if you had no power consistently? I recall asking David if I was suppose to even go to work, not that my "work" requires power but at first I wondered if companies and institutions were still open.
Fret (sp?) not, city hall is still alive and kicking (that sounds like a bit of an exageration). The power schedule has improved. We have power from 8pm to 9am, then two hours of power during the day. I am still trying to figure out the exact times. I think city hall gets a little extra time. We have power till around 11am and often again around 3pm. Half the day we have power at the office. That's pretty good right?
After finally returning to the realm of consciousness after 12hrs of sleep, I encountered my first "Albania adjustment." Feeling the funk from extensive travel, I wanted to relax in a nice warm shower. I made all the necessary arrangements. I had water, which now that I live in the district with 24hr water is a given. I remembered to plug in my water heater the night before and the tempurature guage indicated hot water. All systems a go. I turned on the shower and waited for the water to change from ice cold to nice and warm. I waited some more. Standing naked except for my surprisingly resilient green flip flops (a random gift from my friend Jessica many years ago, these suckers are circa dorm living), I check the water and wait some more. I move the faucet to the other side. In my house some of the faucets are plumbed correctly, hot water to the left. Some however are switched. After being gone for so long, I had forgotten particular details for my shower. So with faucet to the right, I stood with my hand in the shower anxiously awaiting the arrival of my hot water. Again I waited. With my frustration growing, I was wondering if there was some new secret to getting hot water. Perhaps something had changed while I was gone. I thought back to the daily, dependable, frustration-free hot showers I had in the States. Welcome back to Albania I thought.
Then another thought entered my head. The valve from the water heater, had I opened it, allowing the wonderfully warm water to enter the pipes? Perhaps this was not Albania error but rather James error. Would you believe it? I goofed. Once I opened the valve, I enjoyed the refreshing hot shower I so desparately needed.
After my shower, I headed to the office. It was noon (please recall jet lag and lack of sleep as reason for tardiness), the power was off. Oh well, guess it's time for a coffee.