I’ve been suffering from a muscle pinching my shoulder to the point of it causing migraines over the past 2 days so I decided it was time to find myself a massage therapist. We called a place and they said no appointment necessary just stop by (so unheard of in the US) and at only 30 euros an hour I was game. Not going to lie I was a little worried it could be the ‘other’ type of massage parlor but I figured I would take the chance.
Florent and Altin dropped me off at the place. It was a 3rd floor walk up above the place where we buy our bootlegged cd’s. I was greeted by a tall woman with short hair and really good English skills. I explained my ailment and she was confident we could fix it with the kombination massage. The place inside was well decorated with relaxing music and clean linens. She had a heat lamp attached to the ceiling which was pretty cool, I’ve never seen one of those before!
Fast forward to the massage- I give her an A+. I’ve been getting massages for nearly 15 years so I am confident in the ability to give a grade here. She talked a little bit not too much and was very educational as well as entertaining.
“You must attack the muscles you see!”
“Muscles are like lovers, need to be smooth and not broken and knotted.”
“These pressure points here are for headaches or when you drink too much wine”
“Your shoulders are making less blood travel to your brain. You need 2 more massages with this specific treatment from me.”
“When cold air hits on the muscles it causes this pain in your back.”
After my 1 hour kombination massage with this woman I decided I wanted to bring her back to the US with me. I felt like she could instantly be my dear friend. The type of lady you could easily put down a bottle of wine with and share stories about motherhood, stress and body ailments. Whats not to love, am I right?
*No photos included because no one wants to see that*
I also forgot to mention ten minutes into the treatment she took off her shoes and jumped on the table and massaged me while sitting on my lower butt.
My conclusion is this: Even in potential awkward situations Albanians still know how to have quality conversation and make me feel at home no matter if they are sitting on my back or next to me on a couch.
Day 1 was a completely exhausting travel day that never ended. Frankfurt Airport is wayyy too big and we should’ve dosed the kids with Benadryl.
Day 2 consisted of a delicious breakfast of fresh bread, scrambled eggs, feta cheese and pinjur (pepper eggplant & garlic spread) followed by a couple hours of relaxing around the Hoxha Home. It was really difficult waking up this morning- the time change is effecting us more than we expected this time around.
Everyone here goes out for coffee on a daily basis. It’s around .50 Euro for a “Macchiato Madhe” (1-2 espresso shots, a bit of steamed milk and a tiny bit of sugar). In Kosovo people sit and talk to each other; make eye contact and really get into it with conversations (no obsessive phone scrolling going on here). It’s really entertaining and beautiful to watch. Also the smokes- they are usually pairing coffee with a cig. Coffee is nothing like it is in America. It’s a thousand times better. We walked to Flo’s Uncle Gaz’s shop Marcus. We stayed for about 2 hours- 2 hours just doing nothing but talking! Another uncle his lovely wife and daughter showed up to visit.
Nini sippin on steamed milk drizzled with chocolate
NEVER a dull moment.
Nini passed out in the stroller 2 minutes into our walk back to the house. After nap time we took the kids to the Albi Mall so they could get some energy out while Hata slayed some homemade Pizza for our dinner. It was super shijshem I might add (must start taking more food pics).
After dinner I wanted to take the kids to the nearby park to play. Hata told me some family members might come to see us so we should stick around. Me being the type A crazy American trying to fit everything in asked “Well what time?” Hata’s reply “No time, it’s Kosovo- there is no time”. We stuck around and Hata’s gorgeous niece visited with her super sweet husband and 2 adorable kids. By the time they left it was 8:00. I thought I was in the clear and slipped into my floral Target special Jammies. I was then informed an aunt would stop by later. Me being and my idiotic jet lagged self, assumed who cares if this aunt sees me in my jams?
WELL… She did show up but alongside an uncle, her 4 daughters and 2 other cousins! The 4 daughters and 2 cousins all look like straight up models and are dressed to go out after this to the club. So I sat there and visited in my floral jams like a Meme. How embarrassing?!?!? I apologized for my outfit and tried to “own it” the whole time, serving up baklava, juice and water to my in laws in my floral Target special. Thankfully they are the nicest people you could EVER meet and they didn’t make fun of me for it.
Moral of the story is this: Kosovars don’t fuck around. I need to up my A game. Be ready for anything!
You’d think after coming here for the 5th time now I would learn something…