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The Balkan surprise

I spent much of last year in the Balkans. Before April 2013, I’d never set foot in the region in my life (bar Greece, which I’ve never really seen as Balkan). And, looking back, I loved it. More than I ever thought I would. Back in 2007, when I first visited Europe, I thought I’d […]

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The Bunker Man of Albania

I’d like to introduce you to a man. Unfortunately I don’t know his name as I missed the memo on how to say ‘what is your name’ in Albanian (sorry, my bad) so I’ve just always referred to him as Bunker Man. ┬áIt’s overly simplistic, I know, and might even be classed as rude. That […]

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How do you solve a problem like Albania?

Oh, Albania. This post has sat in my draft items for months now, and every so often I’ll open it up, move around some words, completely delete others, and then call it a day. I have rewritten my conclusion four times. I have no idea how to convey in words the endearing chaos that is […]

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View from the Office Days 51-60

By this stage, I was settling into a bit of a rhythm out in the Balkans. Only two protests had threatened to shut down the entire respective cities of Sofia and Istanbul. The Albanian elections had gone relatively smoothly – I stress the word ‘relatively’. Better yet, I hadn’t lost anyone and my groups had […]

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View from the Office Days 41-50

I was nervous, returning to Greece. I had fallen in love with the country on my visit in 2007; Italy hadn’t yet warmed to me (don’t worry, it just took a bit more time) and I’d arrived in Athens, travel-weary and with diminishing funds. The next two weeks were just what the travel doctor ordered […]

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