Call of duty

10th June 2016

Here’s the post I pre wrote in the airport late Wed night…

I suppose part of growing up is about letting things go. Taking that deep sigh and accepting that ‘It is what it is’. But the spoilt three year old in me is having a tantrum and as I watch the sun set over a glass of red in a vineyard near the airport I feel rage at knowing I’ve had to cancel my trip 9 days early.

The past 5 days have been a treat and I only just began to feel like I was shifting into second gear as I headed back from the north to explore the south. Adventures were planned, mules were pre booked and my film sat eagerly waiting. The films I have shot consist of ‘warm up’ shots. Pictures made from curious instinct and stumbling sights. Images for reference and notes.

So I write this from Tirana airport a day early as I await my carriage home. My waiter is working at fast-forward speed; tripping over himself and every table to keep up with the conveyer belt of passengers, there are no regulars here. He knocks over my ashtray and throws my espresso down before turning on his heels at a dancers pace.

Today all plans were adjourned and we headed to a small town called Rubik. In the 30 degree heat I slowly explored and climbed the hill to the church to see the town from a height. The path was a challenge for my little black plimsolls as I dodged the goat poo and pebbles. Reaching the ‘summit’ I took a water break and watched two lads play football amongst the ruins in the hills. In their red football shirts the boys looked out of place; as if they had obliviously stumbled into an episode of quantum leap.

They gazed at me with that now familiar alien sighting; astonishment, intermittently hiding behind crumbling pillars with coyness. I smiled and took the path down, confident that it wasn’t worth a shot.

Knowing I only had an hour left I took the winding residential back path.The town consisted of 2 roads, one for cafes and shops, and one for houses. I wrestled with the temptation to hit the water too early and saved this treat until the end when my body melted.

I tip toed passed the broken glass and manure to eventually reach the edge of the lake. It looked fresh but to be honest anything under the temperature of the baking sun was seductive. The water was warm but still refreshing with a brutal current. As I lay on the bank immersed, my legs were immediately pulled like a magnet to my right and I anchored my elbows deep. I gazed at the fresh water, clear sky and distant mountains and felt utter peace.

It was short lived as I pre-empted my curfew of 4.15 and exited the water, climbing the same littered path and jumping into the wagon to head towards the airport. oao x