Albania has a bass beat these days. It’s thumping to the beat of a million cheering fans from across Europe as they cheer on their national futbol teams in the Euro Cup. I don’t have to miss a second of the game as I walk down the street back to my house at night because its playing in the living room and storefront of every building in Shkoder, and around the country. It’s inescapable, not that you’d want to.
It’s pretty cool actually, to feel like you are inside the game itself because it literally surrounds you from all side. You can hear the fans cheering from the stands, the announcers shouting the plays, and the locals cheering after each shot on goal. You can see the green glow of the futbol field coming from the television and shining shining every window in town. The world seems to stop promptly at 8:45 as everyone finds there spot around the screen to watch the game. Not a single person dares to miss it. Around 11:00 when it’s over, flags are flying from windows showing which team won, and the victors and running through the streets screaming and chanting.
Me, I just sit back and observe; mesmerized by the passion for futbol in Albania. It’s going to be a rough day when Italy plays Spain the semifinals. I may just have to hide out and home and secretly cheer for Spain while the rest of Shkoder roots for the Italy so I don’t make any enemies!
“It’s not better. It’s not worse. It’s just different.”