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Published: April 5th 2010
ULCINJ Day 71
The next day I woke up expecting to return to the train station so that I could continue on my journey but Vjera decided to plan the day for us and that I should spend one more night before she would return me to the train station. I, again, politely tried to refuse her enormous generosity but lost again in the battle of ‘da da da… ne ne ne’. For breakfast she had made a delicious pastry, eggy, cheesy thing, which I think is called Burek. It was really good and she served me a portion the size of China. She also made me another big cup of coffee along with a giant cup of yogurt (to drink).
After breakfast we loaded up in the car and drove to Ulcinj. This is the farthest area of Montenegro that meets up with Albania. This town has a lovely Stari grad (old town) that looks down over the Adriatic. Also, according to Vjera it is full of Albanians. She would point out every Albania as we passed and whisper ‘albani’ and make a funny face. She was entirely distrustful of all Albanians and thought them all to
be criminals. This makes me laugh as it reminds me of Grandma Jean with the comments she would make about black people (let me be clear it was never in a racist way it was just the old generation type things). Like the time I went over wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt and she decided we should go out for dinner, I quickly refused to go out in what I was wearing and she said ‘it’s fine we’ll just tell people you’re a little black girl’. And when I said “GRANDMA you can’t say those things” and she replied with “what? That’s what I see them wearing all the time. We will just put some braids in your hair… it isn’t mean if it is true”. Anyways, we walked around the old town while Radovan guarded the car from all the ‘albanies’.
We then went on to Ada Bojana, which is a river area that divides the Montenegro area from Albania. We got out of the car and I looked on the ground and saw what looked to be a toy snake, which I pointed out to Vjera. It then quickly moved towards us and we both screamed and
ran while Radovan laughed and kicked it away. I swear it looked just like a plastic toy snake! And I only screamed because I didn’t know if the snakes were poisonous in Montenegro. Once Vjera and I got ourselves back under control we headed towards the beach and river. Along the river are all kinds of fishing huts. Radovan drew pictures in the sand to explain to me how close we were to the border to Albania. Vjera continued down the beach and Radovan went back to the car to rest his knees.
As Vjera and I walked we came across a man from Albania. He asked Vjera where she was from and from what I could understand she told him I was Canadian. This made him very happy and he reached out and hugged me and started kissing me all over my face. Apparently he likes Canada a lot. Vjera didn’t seem to like this and she grabbed my other arm and was trying to walk away with me and he eventually released me to her.
We returned to the car and helped Radovan get some fire wood and what looked like cow pies for the wood
stove in their house. Vjera and I carried the wood and pointed out the piles of poop for Radovan to pick up. Back in the car we stopped off at a garden centre to look at lemon trees. From what I understand Vjera wanted to buy a lemon tree for me to plant in their back garden so that I could return one day and see how much it had grown. Unfortunately, we were unable to find any nice lemon trees.
We returned to Vjera and Radovan’s home where we had the left over Burek for lunch along with a coffee. After I finished eating Vjera told me to go take a nap… again… lol. She came to collect me for dinner. Dinner was massive! Beef soup, 5 pork chops, and practically an entire loaf of bread were piled on to my plate. I tried desperately to explain to Vjera that it would be impossible for me to eat all of the food but she just said ‘eat eat… strong… dobra… da da’. I slowly and painfully ate my dinner but only made it through 3 of my 5 pork chops. After dinner we had more coffee and some
Vjera and I finished off the night with another long walk where she explained that she was 65, Radovan 72, and on May 1 they will have their 49th anniversary, which means Vjera has been married since she was 16 years old. I couldn’t imagine being married at 16. I told Vjera about my parents, grandparents, and my sisters and that Kristie would be getting married in June. She told me that she wants us all to come back and stay with her so we can go on walks and swims together.
I told Vjera that Radovan and she must come to Toronto to visit me one day. She said that if she ever goes to New York, which would only happen if her son has babies, she will come to Toronto to see me but that it is better that I come back to Montenegro because her son most likely is not going to have any babies.
We finished the night with me showing Vjera my pictures from home and my travels. And then Vjera told me to go to bed, lol.
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