If you love history, you will never be bored in Europe. Every city has a lot of stories of invasions, imperial conquers and cultural contributions from their diverse population that inhabited that land.
In the case of Durrës, the city I am visiting now in Albania, it was founded by ancient Greeks. Later it was taken by the Romans. Centuries later, when the Western Roman Empire felt, Durrës remained part of the Byzantines and became a Christian city. Bulgarians took control of the town for some years, but later, Byzantines regained it. Then La Serenissima (Venetians) and Hungarians interchanged their power. Anjous, Serbs and Albanians arrived in the 14th Century. Serbs ruled first, but later on, Albans finally took control and established the Kingdom of Albania from there. Finally, in the 16th Century, Ottomans took control of the city until WWI and the population converted to Islam.
The history of Québec is more superficial. There was an indigenous population living there quite comfortably. Then the French arrived and everyone started speaking French. British people tried to invade and they couldn’t. However, we later decided to be part of the same country and proclaim loyalty to the British Monarch. Finish.
As you can see, all these stories about the past sound marvellous to me. So I decided to visit Durrës’ Archeological Museum, which was advertised as the biggest museum in Albania with elements from the Greek, Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman times.
When I was about to enter, I got the biggest surprise. Ida was there! She knew I was going to the museum because we talked every day since a few weeks ago, but I didn’t expect her.
“Did you like my surprise?” she said with her captivating voice.
We spent the afternoon in the museum and then went to have dinner in a local Albanese restaurant.
She stayed with me for a week.
After three days on the shores of the Adriatic sea, while we were spending the afternoon, she asked me:
“Is there any other woman in your life, Benjamin Gunst?”
I replied immediately:
“Yes, there is, or there was a girl, to be honest with you. We were never together and won’t be together.”
“So, you called this guy James Punjabi and he told you that the Bahamian girl was looking for her biological parents and suddenly this mafioso guy found them and didn’t share the information immediately? Am I understood correctly?”
“Yes, James Punjabi wanted me to become a James Bond and rescue Jessica without informing authorities or understanding all this shady situation.”
“That’s sounds very mysterious, Benjamin. Thanks, you didn’t tag along. I hope this Bahamian girl is doing ok.”
I felt relieved I could share the whole story with Ida and she understood it. We are having great conversations and enjoying our time together so much. I am starting to think about when I’ll see her the next time. I don’t want to wait six months to be able to go back to the Schengen area again, but also, I don’t want to rush things and make her think I am as crazy as my story. The time will determine it.