Albania…I don’t think so…River Adventure!

Suprise!  None of Mike’s friends or relatives seem to know anything about Mike’s uncle having an emergency or being ill.  Nine in the morning came and went until after a few complimentary Grappa  provided by the distiller himself and many coffees, Mike showed with an entourage of people including his Uncle and his friends, cousins, etc from Hunington Beach, L.A. Corona,California and Anthem,Arizona. Most everyone spoke English and all rose when the Uncle showed and no one sat until he sat.  It was like a scene out of the Godfather.  The patio was crowded and others started coming over to pay thier respects .  Everyone was friendly and Mike apologized for being late but gave no explaination  for why he reniged on last night and his being so late this morning. His uncle was in great shape and a very classy man.  David had turned in his key and paid his bill but couldn’t get anything to eat as this was a bar Cafe not a restaurant.

Mike left and said he had to take his Uncle and friend home and would be back.  David inquired about their trip to Albania but Mike said it was too late and he would return in an hour and a half and they would go North and tomorrow morning Albania for sure.  David returned to the restaurant he ate at last night and ordered the Qebab which turned out to be a plate of sausages and fries with a salad.  He was captive again with no where to go and nothing to do.  He had asked Mike again about staying in Podgorica at the hotel he liked so much.  He said he could take a bus and taxi and meet Mike at his house tomorrow. Mike refused and insisted he stay with him. David explained he gets up two or three times a night and didn’t have his own bathroom the entire trip until just the other day. He explained how he sleeps late , sometimes goes to bed early or late and wakes in the night.  No problem …you stay with me.  While he was still waiting for Mike’s return….two hours later, the hotel clerk returned his money and said the owner insisted the room was complimentary.  His name was Mike also and had worked in Vero Beach Fla, Aspen Colorado, as well as California.

Mike showed up so David loaded his suitcase in the car while Mike was busy visiting with more friends he recognized.  David was waiting at the car when Mike motioned him over to explain the car was overheating and the rental company was on its way to look at the car.  David sat back down and waited until an hour later when the the man came to take the car to the repair shop with David’s bag and computer in it.  An hour later Mike decided to walk over to the man’s rental place which was a back lot  about a half a block down a hot dusty road behind the cafe. It was a garage that looked like a Chop Shop where he fixed up wrecked cars, painted them, then rented them out.  The car was there with the hood open and the bags in the back but no one around.  We took the bags and walked back to the Cafe.

Mike called a friend he had not seen in 18 years but sponsored when he was a refugee from Kosovo at 16 years old in the ’90’s when Mike was going to Italy.  The man,Dennis heard he was in town and called to tell him he would like to buy him a drink and see him again.  Mike called and said we need a ride so Dennis took us to Mike’s house out in the desert a mile or so away.  Mike suggested he get a swim suit and he take us all to the river where we could relax, have that drink and catch up with old times.  We dropped our stuff at his home and Dennis returned to take us to the river.  Mike told me all of this town was Muslim and all his friends and the wedding was Muslim. That explained why I never saw a women at the Cafe except once when one came with her husband for a short visit.

 When we arrived at the river all the women were down by the river with the children and all the men were playing dominos and socializing at the cafe.  The Cafe was full of Montenegreans and most all were from N.Y.C.  I met a man from Middletown , N.Y. that in his younger days was a bouncer at the Club 54 in NYC.  He used to keep them 500 deep in the streets in the winter waiting to get in. He partied every night for almost 8 years.  His brother Omar was there and we all had a great time.  Now that he is older he buys cattle in Freehold , N.Y. and processes it then sells it .  His brother is in the restaurant business.  They go fly fishing for fun.  A group of people kept coming in and joining us.  Everyone kisses each other on the cheek and shakes hands when they arrive and depart.  It is the custom. An ex professional soccer player had lost his career and left Paris to return home…I think it was drugs.  The Cafe owner had been a dealer in his past in NYC.  The brother of the owner of the Imperial , Mike, that gave me my room for free was there with his son and a huge tureen of fried fresh Carp caught in Skader Lake was brought  to share with all at the table.  Bread was served along with it and another round of beer was bought.  Then after a man with a Watermelon showed up and it was sliced up and served as a dessert for all.  The cafe owner put a hose on the flat roof over the patio the the water streamed off of it providing a shower to cool off in and an evap cooler effect on the patio.  The day was spent talking about travel and sharing.

Vic from Jersey Shore

Our ride left but Mike got another to take us back to our car.  The rental guy had fixed it so we drove back to Mike’s house and David took a shower while Mike left again to visit his sister and son. He said to make yourself at home!  The living room couch was to be my bed that night so I spread out a sheet , turned on the TV and after an hour of watching snow with intermittent  news shows in Montenegrin I took another shower to cool off and attempted to sleep.   Mike’s other son  arrived looking for his father, said hello and offered David some gum.  I told him where his father went and he ran off to be with them.  A half hour later, he returned to tell David his father had gone to Tuzi.  David tried to go to sleep but the heat and humidity was so oppressive.  All the windows were open, a full moon out and a barking dog to lull him to sleep.  Finally as he dozed off , Mike and his son returned and wanted to know if he was comfortable?  Then  after an hour into sleep the phone rang.  David thought it was his alarm an fumbled in the dark to get it out of the suitcase only to discover it was the phone.  Mike finally answered it.  It must have been important because he talked a LONG time.  David, again tried to return to sleep and after a couple runs to the bathroom in the night…the sun came beaming its TORCH through the window illuminating and heating up the living room to oven status.  He took another shower hoping Mike might wake and they could get in the Air Conditioned car and head for Albania then on to David’s hotel in Podgorica.

 The plans for the following day and the wedding were already made.  David would take a Taxi from Podgorica with all his luggage , arrive at Mike’s, swap his sandals for Mike’s shoes and they would go to the wedding.  Mike said it starts at 7pm on Sunday and goes until 3am so be here at 6pm.  David read the invitation that said it started at 8pm and had no intentions of arriving in 100% heat at 6 pm …he wanted to stay in the hotel but  that would defeat the whole purpose.  Their is no planning anything around here and nothing is certain.  It is a new day and we shall see what happens…David is already sweating at 7:30am while everyone is asleep.

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