Next stop: Albania. Or not.

Poor Albania. It's supposedly beautiful: you know, mountains, beach. But the infrastructure is only inching along. Concrete bunkers abound and roads that require a snail's pace to navigate. Tirana, the capital, seems our most feasible stop in Albania, but the chore of getting there from Ohrid, Macedonia, is a bit ridiculous. A bus to the Albanian border. Walk across the border where taxis (hopefully) wait on the other side to take you to the first town in Albania, where (hopefully) there'll be a bus to Tirana. Once in Tirana, we'd have to find a place and then figure out how to leave, another feat since it's apparently complicated, even for locals. Add Cyrillic into the mix and you can see the attractiveness of an overnight bus that would bypass all of it.

Ohrid to the Montenegrin coast, direct, more or less. Nobody was allowed off the bus to pee even inhale Albanian air. It's pretty impossible to sleep on the bus, because the unpaved roads are so potholed the bus brakes and goes so abruptly for hours on end. From the window: nothing. Some may even call it a wasteland, though during the day I'm sure there must be some sort of view. At night, the only view is of gas stations. Gas stations lit up in all their glory, every two minutes at least. Astounding in their bounty. How could this many gas stations be on one road, where not even a single light glows in the distance.

We get to the bus station in Ulcinj, Montenegro, at 5 am, earlier than we'd hoped. I started to doze off at table while we waited for it to be a decent hour to find our place to stay or grab some coffee. Serkan found a bouncy bench seat, something that probably used to furnish the back of an old van, in the middle of an outdoor storage area. He led me there, covered me with a towel, and that was all she wrote.

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