Anybody lived in Albania before?

Would like people's view on the country; economic, social etc

Hi Chicaloc0

I am a Brit currently living in Albania.

My views on the country, economy, social life etc are

The country is beautiful but is slowly being ruined by buildings as does every country, life here is a bit like in the UK 50 years ago, they have a lot of catching up to do but are slowly trying.  They have amazing beaches stretching for miles but are in desperate need of cleaning up and adding a few bars etc.  The main beach of the country would be in Durres which completely built up with massive apartment blocks and shops to cater for people.  I live in Fier which has a barren beach with no amenities.

The economy is poor, food prices are a little bit lower than in the UK for most things but some are more expensive and the average salary is about £250 per month which is substansially lower than in the UK.  There is a lot of poverty in this country that needs sorting but as with all governments they are only interested in lining their own pockets first.  Yes they are looking to get into Europe but personally I don't thing they are ready for that yet.  There is a lot of corruption in this country with Police and Teachers being the main culprits.  The EU are currently considering Albania and Serbia visa liberisation so they would be free to move around like we Brits are. This would be really good for the country and then maybe joining the EU in a few years time once they have had chance to sorts things out.  I fully understand why Albanian's risk living illegally in another country, they are good, honest hard working people who deserve a better life.

Socially there isn't much to do here, there are bars and restaurants here and they do great food.  There are no parks or recreation places here.  There is a small park here in Fier but you have to pay to get into it and it only caters for small children with a few play swings and slides.  There are no swimming facilities other than the sea, no cinema's, only one in Tirana (the capital).  We have one supermarket chain here called Euromax but they are more expensive than the local shops so they only have the convenience of shopping in one place.  I can buy all my food for the week by going to 3 places so have never really bothered with the Euromax.  Most shops are closed by 9pm but restaurants will stay open for as long as you want within reason.  There is a small casino here but mainly for the rich. 

The Albanian people are generally friendly some are not.  They have no idea about Foreign cultures unless a member of their family has been out of the country.  I get mixed responses from Albanian's every day, some are really friendly and chatty others look at me like I'm an Alien or something, there is no please or thank you here so when I say it they get a real shock, which makes me smile. 
The crime rate here isn't bad, mainly revenge attacks a bit like the mafia, the main problem here which causes the most deaths is driving and accidents.  Albanian people have no regard for any human life, they overtake on bends and pull out in front of you without looking, you really have to have your wits about you when driving here, the roads are appauling with not pot holes but craters in the roads and some roads are just not drivable if you value your car.

I hope this has given you an insite into Albania, let me know if you want any more info and I will be glad to help. 

If you don't mind me asking! What are the reasons for asking this question?  I will understand if you don't want to say.

Regards
Suey

yes i did, i did live live in london and i do now live in albania,,ill be very interested to know more about

well suey  we are what we are, me too when i lived in england i was expecting to find something of albanian in the british people but i couldnt we are totally different,,our mentality is more irish look alike,,so do not expect to find british in albanian,,i hope you have a nice stay in our beatiful country

Avenir

Not sure what you mean with your replies, you said you would be very interested to know more about???  What do you want to know more about?

I did not expect Albanian people to have knowledge of foreign culture in them, I was just stating that fact. The same with British people not knowing about albanian culture. Albania isn't a country that the majority of Brits visit yet.  I know that from working with Albanian people in the UK, they are honest, hardworking people, unlike some other nationalities living in the UK, which I won't go into.  But British people do have more of a knowledge of foreign cultures, we work with foreign nationals every day and visit their countries for holidays maybe once or twice a year.  The majority of Albanian people have never left their country due to the restrictions.

I was just giving my personal view on the country which was what was asked. 

I don't expect anyone to be aggrivated about my viewpoint, yes the country is beautiful just the same as any other country I have visited but this is how I perceive Albania and it's people. As I said, some are lovely some are not, the same as you would find in the UK and any other country.

The disregard for Human life only comes into effect when behind the wheel of a car.  I have experienced near death many times on Albanian roads due to other drivers overtaking on completely blind bends, pulling out in front of me without looking, you have got to admit I am right here.  How many times has someone pulled out in front of you?

If I can give anyone thinking about coming to live in Albania an insite into the country before they decide what to do, then great, I only wish I had someone telling me these things before I came, at least then I could have been a bit more prepared.

I would rather not live here, but I currently have no choice if I want to be with my husband, who is Albanian and who I love very much, being Albanian is part of him which I wouldn't change for the world, and hey! I much prefer being with an Albanian guy to a British one.

I prefer the freedom you get in the UK to go where you want, when you want, I know it's not safe to do that in Albania and with the current statistics on prostitution and human trafficking and drugs, it's definately not safe to be out here after dark, especially if you are a foreign national. 
Did you go out after dark in the UK?  The embassy also advise this.

This is only my view on the country that I am currently living in.  Anyone can read it and think about it or ignore it and take the decision to decide for themselves.

Thanks Suey for the insight.

Actually I am a Filipino nurse who is planning to work as an operating room nurse in Tirana, perhaps can you provide me some tips or just an insight if health care of Albania specifically Tirana is of average or even given importance? And if in case you do have an idea, do hospitals in Tirana have good facilities? Or would you prefer if I waork on other countries like middle east? Just asking for an advice since all of the information about Albania, almost 80 percent are negative...That's why I'm really confused, or shall we say having an ambivalent feeling of working in Tirana.

Hi Rayjustin21

I haven't been to the hospital in Tirana personally, but it seems to be the only hospital in Albania that does all the main operations.  Health care is non existent here and if you are a foreign national it is worth taking out private healthcare insurance before you come to cover you, just in case anything happens to you while you are here you would be able to get the best care possible or even be transferred to another country for treatment say Italy or Greece.

I would probably be right in saying that going by other hospitals here in the country, I wouldn't imagine Tirana hospital to be clean, my husband has been there before for a visit a couple of years ago and he said it wasn't clean then.  Although I would hope that the operating rooms there would be spottlessly clean.  My husbands niece who lives in Durres traveled to Tirana to have her baby a year and a half ago, but her husband knows some of the doctors there so she got the best care possible.

Would you be coming here on your own or with others?  If you are with others then it wouldn't be so bad, although if you are English speaking there are other people that are members of this site that live in Tirana that you could possibly get to know. 

Tirana is possibly the better of the places to live in Albania but as with any capital city, watch out for pick pockets, wear your handbag over your head and shoulder etc. 
I'm not sure of the pay scale for you, but maybe you already know about it, I do know that the wages in general here are very low and the cost of living doesn't reflect that. 

I am not sure about other countries in the middle east, but I would say do your research before you go and have money saved just incase you want to go home. 
Could you not look into getting into an EU country on a working visa, I'm not sure on Filipino national travel requirements but being a nurse, I am sure you could get a visa through the points system.  Just a thought, it might not be what you want.

I hope this helps you a bit.
Good luck with your future.
Suey

Hi Suey

I am also british and married to an albanian. I live in England but have recently been trying to look for work vacancies in Tirana, it's proving really difficult. Do you or any brits you know work and how do I find the job adverts?

Many Thanks

Hi lucky12

There are no agencies here to look for work.

It all depends what you are qualified to do as to whether you will get a job here. 

I don't work, and I would imagine others probably don't either unless it's with the family business. 

There isn't enough jobs here for the locals, let alone us foreigners. 

Also, if you are lucky enough to get a job here, be prepared for poor wages. 

On average here - women mainly work in the factories, sewing, making bread etc and get paid around £100 per month for it.  Men make a little more at about £200 - £300 per month doing more manual jobs.

Hope this helps a little. 
Regards
Sue

Hi Sue

Thanks for you reply. I will bear that in mind.

On another note, how are you getting on living in Tirana? If we moved over we would be living with my inlaws, at least for a few months. Have you managed to make any contacts while living there? Someone told me there is a group of expats that meets every other week.

Hi Im also married to an Albanian, we are living together in the uk.
All I would like to add to this conversation is that wherever you go in the world there is good and bad.
If we all took notice of all the negative in life then we would never take risks.

I am a German national who has been living/working as Expat in Albania/Tirana. My wife is Albanian.

In general: Albania continues to be second poorest country in Europe in terms of per capita GDP (only topped by Moldavia as far as I know). Consequently, the country still lacks the sophistication in terms of infrastructure, governance, state institutions, civil society etc. compared to Western European economies.

However: The country is developing fast and wasn't it for the widespread corruptions in politics and state-institutions the development would be much faster, as Albanians - contrary to their generally bad reputation elsewhere in Europe - are as honest as any others country average population and are very hard working, fast learning, language skilled with a pronounced sense of loyalty.       

I have been living in Albnia as an Expat in a rather publicly visible position and due to our ties to family and friends we are still going there regularly at least twice a year. In all those years I have never been threatened, robbed, harrassed etc. neither daytime nor nighttime - and we really enjoy the nightlife extensively in Tirana.

We are permanently considering to move to Albania as we enjoy being there so much. There are two principal reasons why we hesitate:
1. Health Care (Answer to rayjustin21): health care is extremely poor. I understand that recently some international clinics have opened doors in Tirana. Good news! Because the state health system as nothing less than a desaster. And this is not so much due to the expertise of doctors but the poor state of facilities, equipments and thus possible treatments. I had some personal experiences!!! Albanians that have the chance to travel abroad go there if they need any serious treatment.
2. Education: I found the level of basic education of Albanians surprisingly high when I went there first in 1995. However, the quality of state schools is deteriorating since 1990 as wages for teachers are ridiculous and again school facilities are poor. There are a number of private/international schools in Tirana. I can not judge on the quality of their education. I have heard from Albanians that the higher the tuition of such schools the lower the quality as it serves the few lucky rich, to buy university admission for their kids (and the kids unfortunately know or at least assume that it can be bought - which does not strengthen the position of the teachers). However good or bad the school education in Albania is, our main fear is that our kids might face a disadvantage regarding international university admission and later access to the international labour market, with an Albanian school degree.

What else to comment on Albania:
- Driving car there is indeed a special experience. You really have to be agood driver with a lot of foresight if you want to avoid near death experiences. However, if you do have those skills and if a little anarchy does not scare you off - driving there can also be fun.
- Tirana as a capital offers much, much, much more facilities than any other town there. Other towns may be lovely, charming and may also start developing, thus most of them have by now a decent hotel, some good restaurants, certainly a number of acceptable bars. But the difference to Tirana is very pronounced. All state institutions are in Tirana. 90% of the Expat community and white collar jobs are located there. Virtually all major companies have there main offices there. It has the only airport. The hippest and trendiest places (nightlife, restaurants, shopping) are established there. (In the case of nightlife with the only exception that during the summer season the trendiest places move to the seaside resorts around Dhermi).

Hope this is of some use.

Re: Lepulusi's comments

These are excellent comments and advice for anyone thinking about coming to Albania to live. 

There are good comparisons now as lepulusi lived in Tirana, a much better city to live in.  I live in Fier which is much less developed, with no international company bases apart from one which is a Canadian based Oil company.

Spot on about the Schools and spot on about the healthcare facilities. 

We are lucky in Fier to have the same as in Tirana the American Hospital based here, private, clean facilities, but the doctors that work there also work in the main public hospital so you do actually see a specialist there, you would have to go to Tirana for that service as many of my husband's family member have had to do.

Spot on about the driving in Albania.  One thing I can say is that you learn a lot on these roads and see something quite unbelievable every day you are on them.  I laugh at disbelief most days.
But...
I have also seen the other side where a driver has cut another driver up, which happens all the time, but the driver that was cut up was not too happy about it and proceeded to get ahead of the other driver stop him, pull him from his car and beat him unconsious. Then drove off as if nothing had happened.
What I would advise is DON'T REACT (hard, I know) but you never know who is in the other car (and they do carry guns in their cars) they don't hesitate. 
I, just the other day, had stopped in the road signalling to turn left, I waited for a car to pass coming the other way and was about to turn, when (luckily I use my mirrors) a driver coming from behind decided to overtake me.  I stopped just in time to prevent the other driver from hitting my left side of the car.  He thought I was in the wrong, assumed he had the right of way to overtake me and sounded his horn accordingly at me.  Most pay for a driving licence here without actually taking any lessons or tests, so beware.  They do not know their "highway code". 
Again, excellent advise.  I will be moving to Italy in the New Year with my husband to pursue a better life for us.
I again, do not want my children at school here and I also want better and cleaner heathcare facilities in the event of the unforseen future.

Hi Suey

I'm glad I found this forum and especially this topic, by knowing your situation and everyone here which made me feel like I'm not alone. It's hard to find anyone wants to move or moved to Albania actually.. not a common place, not in the others expat forum. My bf who is an Albanian and I'm from Hong Kong which is a place not allowed Albanian to get any sort of visa to stay except the tourist one for only a short period and no dependant visa even when we get married due to the goverment policy. He is doing the half working and half studying in Italy now and said will not go back to his country before the study can be finished. It's truly a far distance between us.

Recently, I stayed in Italy for 3 months and just back to Hong Kong, now I'm in the stage that so struggling about the whole thing. Family and friends told me I should give up, he is the man I love and want to be with in the future but it seems like the so-called future is hardly can be seen at the moment. But even so I'm thinking to take a bigger risk this time to go anywhere with him.

I have noticed that you said you are going to move to Italy so I think you may be able to help me for some suggestions? I mean from considering to stay between in Italy and Albania, back to Albania might not a bad choice but he said it's not even a choice.. have to stay in Italy, but I think at least for me would be easiler to get the permit to stay in Albania if we married? Cause he is just having study visa in Italy though he is trying to get a working visa right now. I don't want to stay there only 3 months then have to come back again, so I need to have a better plan this time. I don't know any Albanian language or Italian just few easy words. I really doubt if I could find any job in either those two places and most importantly, we both don't have too much saving now. I'm not too sure about everything so I need to gather more informations before making any decision.

Thank you so much.

Hi cynthia, you speak good English so that is an excellent starting point for considering Italy to work and live, maybe you could look at the tourism side of things for Italy. If your boyfriend is able to find work in Italy and get a visa to stay there, he could apply for you to stay with him but you may need to get married first, check out the Italian websites, they have lots of info on this. As for Albania, you can apply for a resident permit here if you are married to an Albanian but there isn't enough work for Albanians here let alone us "foreigners". My advice would be, if you really want to stay with your Albanian boyfriend, try for Italy first rather than Albania, but you may have to get married first, which is a big step. What I can say is that Albanian men are very loving, caring and protective of their wives, those who have lived outside of Albania are more what we say "westernised" and make  fantastic husbands. I wouldn't change my husband for the world. 
I hope this helps a little.
Suey

hi,

I am wanting to go to Albania to live with my boyfriend and his family, i am british and i know u can go there for 30 days without a visa, but i am unsure how long i am allowed to stay there and whether i need to get a visa before i go or whether i can get one while im there. is there a maximum amount of time i can stay there? im desperate to book my flight but dont want to in case i need to apply for a visa and it will take too long etc. any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Lauren

My opiniion some lovely people but when you ask the younger generation what they want to do they say go abroad. Says it all.
Add rubbish every where, even in the rivers, stray dogs wandering the streets with mange, power cuts,water shortages and the expense of keeping in touch with family and friends in the UK. Book your flight but make sure you have enough money to get back home as I don't think you will like it especially if you are young and want to have fun.

Oh and I forgot check out warnings on health related diseases you may catch while you are here

The trouble with the UK is it's multi racial society at least Albania does not have that. Ciggies and booze are cheap is that a bonus or a health hazard?

Chelsea Girl, thanks for the tips, i went there for 6 weeks and know exactly what u mean about everything.... i am bk in the UK now for xmas and will probably be going back there end of December, Albania is definitly not where i would rather live, VERY different to the UK not so many fun things to do and everyone drinks coffee 24/7 which i'm certainly not used to! but if i want to be with him thats what i need to get used to untill he can come to England!!

Hi Lolly

It is good to hear from you and at least I was honest so you had an idea of what things were like. It is very poor there, people say things about Africa but Albania is, in my opinion even further behind the times.
My husband is in Babru just outside Tirana. He is having to run a business and look after his ill parents so I havn't seen him (only on Facebook) since September. He chooses for me not to stay there because he hates it so much himself and dosn't think it is a good life for me so I have to respect him even though it is hard being apart.
Keep in touch with me though and you never know maybe we can all meet up one day. Where abouts in Albania did you stay and have you started a visa process yet? The language is quite hard, did you get used to the yes, no thing ha ha where they do the opposite head action to us.
Anyway if there is anyway I caan help just ask I will if I can
Best Wishes
Alison

Hi Alison,

Sorry for the late reply, havent been on here for a while. I have to agree with u about how poor the country is. It's just so strange and so wronge in my opinion that the magority of the area is so poor yet shops, especially clothes shops etc can be sooooo expensive!! Then u have cars like even here in England i havent seen before, just fantastic. Which i've been informed is a lot to do with drugs!
Wher is it u live? i take it u dont live in Albania then? I was living in Tirana. Its very difficult for me because it's not a place i want to live at all but i do want to be with him still but obviously we cant stay together if he's there and i'm here. so i have the dilema now of what to do?!
I agree on the language side of things too, it is quite difficult! i picked up a few bits, living with his family and half not being able to speak any English at all i think i needed to! haha. Would be nice to meet up sometime like you suggested.

Lauren :-)

Hi, I was in Albania almost 3 months with my fiance and his family, totally understand what you guys said about the situation there. It's just not the place i want to live, he hates it and doesn't want to stay there himself too. The city i was living in is Shkoder, people are more traditional there and i've been to the capital Tirana too which you can live better than in Shkoder. There is not much choices of food like everything cooked by deep fried with bean soup & bread, tomato & cucumber salad... etc. Language part is just too difficult and strange for me, the bad thing is somehow i feel annoyed to listen the sound of it... but learned some words though, just like when you are not able to talk so then you have to keep listening by force haha. Now i'm back in Hong Kong for better living and stay with my family a bit before i have to go again. It's about a month I haven't seen him, it's very hard to be apart so far away. Hopefully one day Albania can get in EU so more choices will be open for us.

Hi Cynthia

Do you intend to live in England with your fiance or can he not go to Hong Kong with you? It is hard all round.
I havn't seen my husband since September but to be honest he has had money out of me which has gone on an apartment, business and his family but he is not making any money and what he does still goes on the family so it looks like I won't be seeing him again for a very long time if at all apart from on Facebook.
How are your fiances family with you?
My husbands family seem to think about themselves and not their sons happiness so I doubt they have any interest in helping us be together.
It is amazing how poor some seem to be there, then you have those with flash cars etc but I suppose it is the same here in the UK.
How do your family feel about your situation, mine are not too happy.
Tirana could be beautiful but when I went in September they had still not finished the work in the square that they had dug up the previous September so it just looked a mess.
Anyway maybe we should start a lonely wives club ha ha, do something to cheer us up. The trouble is there are a lot of Albanians in England who are here with false papers and they commit crime so it dosn't help the situation of those that want to be here for genuine reasons.
I bet Hong Kong is lovely compared to Albania and England.
Keep in touch x

chelsea girl :

Hi Cynthia

Do you intend to live in England with your fiance or can he not go to Hong Kong with you? It is hard all round.
I havn't seen my husband since September but to be honest he has had money out of me which has gone on an apartment, business and his family but he is not making any money and what he does still goes on the family so it looks like I won't be seeing him again for a very long time if at all apart from on Facebook.
How are your fiances family with you?
My husbands family seem to think about themselves and not their sons happiness so I doubt they have any interest in helping us be together.
It is amazing how poor some seem to be there, then you have those with flash cars etc but I suppose it is the same here in the UK.
How do your family feel about your situation, mine are not too happy.
Tirana could be beautiful but when I went in September they had still not finished the work in the square that they had dug up the previous September so it just looked a mess.
Anyway maybe we should start a lonely wives club ha ha, do something to cheer us up. The trouble is there are a lot of Albanians in England who are here with false papers and they commit crime so it dosn't help the situation of those that want to be here for genuine reasons.
I bet Hong Kong is lovely compared to Albania and England.
Keep in touch x

Sorry I just read your previous message about Albanians only being allowed a tourist visa for Hong Kong so that answers 1 question and you must have met him in Italy.

Hi Alison

Yes I met my fiance in Italy, we were thinking to stay in HK together but soon I found out actually it's not allowed for albanian to apply dependant visa. I'm hoping it would change when the time Albania can get into EU(he told me that will be in 2013 or 4 something) cause I want to stay close with my family so, it's hard no matter what i choose at the moment.
Did you mean your husband's family request him to stay there for help? Can he go to UK with you? My fiance's family they were very generous to me, the living standard there isn't good but i know they gave me the best they could have. His sisters understand english and one even can talk with me a bit. I think communication is the only problem between us especially the parents but sometimes we were able to get the meaning with 2 different languages. My family of course they are not happy about my situation, couldn't help for anything when being so far away. Also they worried about me being in a relationship unstable like this would just wasting time, something can't explain  all in one time like even myself get frustrated sometimes. There is stress but i know i will still keep going on.
I went to Tirana in September too, tried the fake mcdonalds meal there haha don't know if you know which one i'm talking about but it tasted nice though. I agree it could be quite beautiful as soon as the work thing can be finished.
I also heard about there are many Albanian commit crime, i guess everyone is just trying to get a better life out of the poor country but it's so bad that affect the genuine people who is still trying to work by own hands, so not helping the reputation of the country and then affect us poor little women!
Lonely wives club sounds fun but feel like a bit pitiful, isn't it? may be we should name it lovely Albanian's wives club instead haha, don't know is there anywhere else we can chat a bit about the lonely life, here seems not quite suitable. Being always come and go between 2 places is not easy. I'm not working at the moment, are you? HK is beautiful but it just way too many people inside this little city. I spent almost 2 years time in London before like the places but not the weather.
Speak soon :)

hi
im looking fro somwone who live in albenia, i got his name and surname, but no contact number, if anyone can help me please, how can i find this person, its very urgent.
thank you
naida

Hi Naida and welcome to Expat.com!

Could you please start a new thread on the Albania forum?

Thanks.
Harmonie.:)

do I need a visa to live in Albania?
I am English can I live in Albania without a visa?
My Albanian fiance wants me to move to Albania with him and I can't find anywhere that tells me if I need a visa to live there or not please help

Thanks in advance x

My Albanian fiance wants me to move to Albania with him and I can't find anywhere that tells me if I need a visa to live there or not please help.Fut Coins

Albania tourist visa is not required for citizens of United States for a stay up to 90 days.
What else do u need to know while planning a trip to Albania?

First, check the current validity of your passport.

All travelers will need a passport valid for at least 90 days following your departure date from Albania. However, we strongly recommend traveling with 6 months validity on your passport at all times. VisaHQ can assist U.S. citizens with a full range of expedited passport services, including new passport application and passport renewal.

Second, make sure your passport has blank Visa pages.

Most destinations, including Albania, require that you have adequate un-used pages in your passport, allowing for any necessary stamps upon arrival and departure. We recommend that you have at least two free pages in Visas section of your passport before any international travel. U.S. citizens can get extra passport pages added to their passports as fast as within 24 hours.

Finally, confirm if transit visa is required for any connections.

Check with your airline in case you have connecting flights overseas as part of your journey to Albania. It may be the case that countries you pass through en route to your destination may require a separate transit visa. Please refer to visa requirements of the specific country.

Hi there
How do I get a job there ?

I was born and raised in Albania. Was looking for best places to live in Albania and happen to read your comments about the city you live in, Fier, and Albania in General. Just wanted to say thank you for taking time to write this review, which is sad in many instances but it's true. Albanians are great people in general, but as with every forest, there are pigs there too. I just wanted to make a comment on the part of people not being friendly at times, or of not saying thank you or please. There is two types of cultures there, one is the simple one that values the work and not the words in a very plainly way, while the other one is the one that we can call "educated" which might say a lot of thank you but not really do much or mean it. Similar to this is also the fact that if you call a woman zonje, which is similar to lady, there is a tendency of offensiveness. I believe that this happens because of the influences of the communism. Back then, using the words miss, mrs, or sir were offensive and even political terms.
Great review and best of luck!

People are very friendly. The prices for You will be not high. Social life will be easy for You if you have any friends  living here. Don't be afraid You can get in touch with good people if You come to work.

Hi im from Philippines planning to move in Albania late this year. My boyfriend and I are planning to stay for good in Albania. Im just a bit worried when i saw all your posts about Albania. I know when i decide to move in with him i must give up my work in Philippines. Weve been together for a year now. Pls help if i need visa to go there permanently to be with him
Pls help!!i

hi ceressa
If your boyfriend is albanian national you will not have problem with the permanent visa after you do the celebration and marriage paper works. It may take more then months to get the permanent permit but nothing to worry.You can stay as long as you want in albania legally.
Since you do not speak albanian language your option for work are limited.However speaking english is advantage in itself. You can work on call centers,restaurants,hotels or beauty saloons.
First 6 months will be strange for you till you get used.This is normal when you move in a totally new culture and new country.
good luck

Thanks for the reply bluesky2015. much appreciated your update. anyways let u know what could be the latest update once we process..

Hi would like to ask about the employment in Albania. Is it hard to find a job there? Or pls give me some ideas on how we will live there in terms of economic since we will be new on the place and unemployed.

Hello Philippina,kumusta ka,
read your message about job as a nurse,working in Albania,if you cannot get better country,i will not recomend you there,if i am nurse,and have choice to work i will better go to anywhere,than Albania,scary country,no future,Albania hope they will join EU when,Albania will not get EU in next 15-20 years a minimum time, :)

I recently married my Albanian husband in Durres.
His family are all originally from Kukes but now live in Durres, about an hours drive from the beach/city.
We stayed in Durres and then had our honeymoon in Saranda.
There is NO way I could ever live there, unless of course we had loads of money and didn't have to worry about anything.
The people I met, mostly friends and family were lovely but there's depression and poverty there and everyone is stressed, trying to figure out a way to make money.
I think you are either very rich or very poor there, there's not much evidence of a healthy in between.
The country itself is beautiful and we saw some breath taking sights on our way to Saranda.
Saranda was a bit livelier but probably because its a high tourism area.
However all the clubs/late bars we went to weren't really for couples.
It was a few single men and some "scantily dressed" single women. I think they may have been prostitutes even. And most bars had strippers, not ideal for honeymoon!
(I'm not a prude but this didn't do much for me!)
We also saw lots of prostitutes in the street in Saranda, not a pleasant sight!


The hotel we stayed in and had our marriage celebration in Durres was lovely, the food was amazing and the staff were great.

My husband has to remain there until we get a visa for him.
He was previously in the UK illegally, hence the formality of a wedding etc..
He hates it there, no money, no job, no future.

I never met his parents as apparently they didn't approve of our wedding (They are quite strict Muslims) but I met his brother and sister and some friends.
They were all very welcoming and lovely to me although I speak no Albanian and they spoke no English.

As someone said the roads...OMG, I thought we were going to die on more than a few occasions! They really don't care, its free for all, who dares wins there, especially in Tirana.
Durres beach was clean as was Saranda.
I didn't like the pollution and rush rush of Tirana.
Durres, if I had endless money would be where I would like to stay as it was more of a community feel.

I will no doubt holiday there every year and I hope they sort the political mess out.
Corruption is strife and very evident.
And that is unfortunately where they get their bad reputation from.
That coupled with the amount of Alb men who marry just for papers gives them a bad name and causes most people to give them a wide berth.
I'm from London and even here the reputation proceeds them.
Lets hope my hubby isn't one of them :-)

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