In 2006 Hamish & I travelled to an Albania just opening its doors to the outside world. We soon found ourselves at Skanderbeg Square, the main hub of the city……
To be honest, the square was pretty much it for Tirana sightseeing. Once we had toured the mosque, there was not a lot else to do but stroll and watch the locals go about their daily lives. We were not really there to see heritage anyway – just being there was enough for us.
As we crossed Skanderbeg Square, I was the victim of a hit and run!
A kid of about four was going like the clappers in his pedal car, but was not exactly in control of the steering. The youngster rode straight over my foot, painfully clipping my ankle at the same time.
As the brat rode off without a care in the world, I yelped half in surprise and half in pain.
The audibility of my cry seemed to stop the square dead. A man carrying a stuffed tiger man put down his giant toy, pedalling kids braked (apart from my ignorant assailant that is), old men silenced their conversations & delayed their next chess move, mums quit gossiping and the small handful of tourists let their cameras rest.
Everybody seemed to be staring at the foreign nutter now crouched down nursing his battered foot.
Hamish went from initial (apparent) concern to laughter in what seemed a nano second, whilst I checked that no bones were broken. Luckily they were not, but below my sock I could see that my ankle was already turning red.
The crowd continued to gawp as I limped across to an empty bench to gingerly remove my shoe and sock. No real damage except now to my ego. Why was I the one that was embarrassed, the hapless victim?
I glowered towards the little !$%@ that had caused my pain and ignominy. He was now badgering his forlorn looking mother for some sweets or an ice cream. The post Hoxha generation!
The square had returned to its usual busy self as I applied half a tube of antiseptic cream to my injury.
It was high time for a dark beer to get over my ordeal. I did consider an accidental arm to the ear of the careless driver as I limped past, but wisely figured that this may end in tears for us both, so avoided the temptation.
All was well with the world again after a quick Korça beer & chips!