Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Greetings and Happy Holidays from the waterside city of Sarandë in the Republic of Albania. I promise the title will make sense. Bear with me.
James treated me to a lovely birthday surprise on November 21st. Plenty of stray street cats to pet and dote upon. He does know how immensely fond I am of street cats.
For breakfast, we were invited into our hotelier’s home, located a floor beneath our room, and a floor above he and his wife’s unremarkable looking repair/tile shop. The couple cooked up a large portion of eggs and put out a spread of fresh honey, juice, jams, breads, grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers and various cheeses. While James consumed all he could before reaching a critical level of explosion, I sneaked a good deal of the remaining gourmet cheeses into a small Ziploc bag in my purse. The fast was capped off with a hearty shot of rakija, a fruit brandy native to the Balkan region known for its 40% ABV.
I'll claim that as justification for the behavior which then ensued.
I spotted a cat outside our window, three stories down. Bored while James performed his lavatory rituals, my inner child took control. I dropped a small piece of feta down to the sidewalk below.
A little cat sprinted over to where the cheese had fallen to gobble it up. He didn't recoil in abject terror or demonstrate any semblance of shock or even so much as look up to question where this cheese from the heavens was coming from.
His enthusiastic response only served to encourage me.
Cheese from the Heavens! Cheese from the sky! Cheesaggedon! Cheddarocalypse!
Then, of course, there was the matter of James having booked a lovely rooftop room in the elegant Epirus Hotel, with a splendid view of the Adriatic, expansive upper deck, complete with a fireplace, swinging basket chair and a swell gentlemen who shared with us more about Albanian culture and carried our hulking bags up a great many flights of stairs.
No valid complaints.
I find myself asking, “How is this my life?” on the regular now. Over and over again.
Gëzuar, my friends!
(That's "Cheers" in Albanian).