There are certain things in life that people all over the world consider to be essentials. You know, things they just can’t live without. You may be thinking I’m referring to food or shelter or water, but you’re wrong. I’m talking about clubbing. The essential human activity of turning off the lights, drinking cheap beer, and dancing your heart out.
Albania may be a conservative society with very strict rules about what to wear and how much to drink and when females shouldn’t be out in public. Instead of letting that hinder the fun of teenage angst, the youth here just work around the rules and go clubbing in the afternoon. The bar below the Peace Corps Office in Elbasan literally becomes a disco/night club starting at noon every single day. After spenind an entire language class listening to a thumping base beat, I decided I needed to check it out. So during our coffee break some volunteers and I ventured downstairs to Kupid Bar. When we opened the door it looked like any other American night club. The lights were out, a disco strobe light was spinning, and cigarette smoke filled the air. The only stark difference was that the people were no more than 16 years old, and they were circle dancing. For anyone who doesn’t know what Albanian circle dancing looks like, it’s kind of like their version of the Jewish horrah. The hold hands and grapevine in circles…for hooouuurs. I’m not exaggerating. So imagine my surprise when I opened the door and found the most scandalous part of Albanian culture…to actually be the most innocent dance party I could have ever imagined. Love it. All I know is I’m for sure bringing circle dancing back to the U.S., it would greatly improve a Friday night at Hawk n’ Dove or The Guards.
“It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s just different.”