Archive for April, 2006

The meeting…

Monday, April 3rd, 2006

… with the Albanians on Saturday, which took place in a shabby, smoke-stained office in the New Port, was rather unsatisfactory.

Present:

  • * myself;
  • * a couple of Greek officials in scruffy plain clothes – I thought at the time that they were police;
  • * two Albanian officials in rather correct grey suits with formal shirts but no ties.

I took no part in the proceedings, which consisted of incomprehensible (to me) wrangling over the agenda. After two hours of this, the meeting was adjourned until today.

In the meantime, Sophia and I hired a car and ate ourselves silly in a fine fish restaurant in Boukaris, in a Greek – French restaurant (Spiros and Vassilis) near the waterpark, and in a nice taverna in Ermones.

Today, three or four hours of discussion took place, mostly in Greek, which, despite my relative fluency, I barely understood. The Greek officials – actually immigration people (why?) – wanted the boat brought here for identification. The Albanians stonewalled on this. Fearing further protracted negotiations, I agreed to accompany the Albanians back to Saranda where they are based, and where my boat is currently held. The Greek chaps seem quite alarmed, and made it clear that I am going at my own risk, but it was clear this could go on for months and I’ll lose out if they fail to agree. After all, it’s just a 25 minute journey by hydrofoil to Saranda from Corfu, and there’s a ferry every day. It’s not exactly behind the Iron Curtain any more.

So tomorrow it is. I’ll go alone and Sophia will wait in Corfu. With a bit of luck, I’ll be sailing back here in a few days, and pick her up, and we’ll sail home. Bliss.