Yesterday, there was a national soccer game, Albania versus Serbia. The stadium was held in Elbasan, but unfortunately Peace Corps volunteers were not permitted to be out, and remain low-key (for those that lives there). Instead, I stayed at my site and watched the game at the local bar.
At the bar, I was accompanied by my neighbor friend. The bar was nothing but a sausage fest, I was the only female…and the only asian there. They were mostly young men. When I walked inside, there were a few stares, as it was not common for women to be out at the bar at night, but the men didn’t seem to mind. They were there for the game. There were many under age drinkers and the room filled up with cigarette smokes. The crowd was very lively and filled with energy. Albanian flags were waved up and down. It was an exciting experience. Of course, there were racist remarks thrown here and there against Serbians. The game started at 8:45 pm. At the intro of the game, both national anthems were playing. When Albania national anthem came up, the crowd stood up, cheering and shouting with pride. I have never felt so much pride and excitement from them, that I was nearly tearing. Then the game started. The crowd got really loud whenever the ball was near the goal. People were tapping on tables, tapping with an empty beer glass furiously, and yelled out racist remarks. Towards the end of the game, Albanian lost to Serbia. The score was 2-0. Everyone was disappointed and walked out of the bar. It finally ended. As I walked home with my friend, we saw several boys tipping over the dumpster, horns were honking, and cars were going crazy fast on the road. It was terrifying. In the end, I had mashed potatoes and tomatoes for dinner.
Albanian words for the day: