Monthly Archives: March 2013

A Really Vital Update on Life in America


Ok, since my weepy last post I found a great job and apartment. No complaints! Although I am still occasionally startled by automatically flushing toilets and share way too much “wisdom” (usually centering on food safety – ie, expiration dates mean nothing) that starts with “When I was in the Peace Corps…” I am pretty well-adjusted. I survived the transition home!

This post is just to note how much my sense of my neighborhood has shifted since I got back…in that I am suddenly finding Albanians everywhere and every time it reminds me of Peace Corps/makes me miss my town and my host family. Today I checked my mail and found a letter addressed to a “Kujtim” who used to live in my apartment. I live a twenty-minute walk from our local Albanian Islamic Society. Last weekend I was walking home from CVS when I saw this frightening sign in Albanian:


Last month I staggered onto the bus with about a million pounds of crap from Target, sat in the first seat I could find, and then realized I was next to a gjyshja talking about what was going on “ne shpi.”

Yes, folks, that’s right: without even being aware, I have stumbled into a “little Diber” right here in Philly. Oddly it makes me feel more at home and also is a constant reminder of what I’m missing back in the real Diber.