Mike’s Montenegro Wedding Adventure

To ______________and _________________ , I wish you  all the happiness in the world on this, your Wedding Day and every day you share together.
It is an honor to be here with you , your family, and all your friends for this special occasion.
Best Wishes for your bright future together.
David Taylor
Your Uncle “Mike’s” good friend from Arizona

This morning David contracted the same taxi that brought him to the Ideal Hotel to transport him to Mike’s hometown of Tuzi and the Imperial Hotel where he was booked for 4 days at the highest rate he has paid yet…$75 a night.  Breakfast at the Ideal was Ideal and though he was still sick he managed to keep the meal down.  Victor and he exchanged emails and a quick photo shoot before saying goodbye to all.  The owners and staff made his stay there very nice and reasonable.  The Taxi took him to the ATM to make sure he had some cash as Tuzi didn’t sound like the place with a lot of ATM’s or Visa available.  He went back to the Pharmacy and bought the equivalent of Imodium D as his Pro Biotics weren’t working .  The pleasant Pharmacist took care of him.  She was from Macedonia near Ochid and recommended I visit there. It was on my list but I cancelled it due to time constraints.

The Taxi delivered me to the Imperial which was not at all like the internet photo that I think was taken 10 years ago when the place was built.  The patio was crowded with all men having cigarettes and coffee. The manager introduced me to Mike’s younger  brother Dino.  He was a handsome man and had been to Phoenix but immigration deported him.  Dino called Mike’s sister’s at the house to let him know I was here and told me he should arrive shortly.  Both his sisters from Corona California were here for the wedding.  Victor had  told me 500 was a small wedding and that they usually start on Saturday and don’t end until Sunday night.  The manager showed me my Penthouse Apartment with two bedrooms, kitchen, Dining Room bath and living room.  My Taxi driver couldn’t believe it when he delivered my bag.  I paid him $25 …$15 too much but I liked him. He let me make that decision.

The owner, a childhood friend of Mike’s came over and introduced himself and another man that had lived in LA for 16 years.  It seems all of these people had made their living as house painters.  I even met Sammie’s uncle, the guy who repainted my bedroom at the condo.  The guy from LA and I sat and talked about travel and his life in LA and coming home again until Mike arrived.  He said he never really expected me and thought all that talk of travel was so much bull.  He wanted me to stay with him but I didn’t want to impose with the wedding and all.  He paid the tab and suggested we go swimming in the river but I was still recuperating so declined.  He said he would be back and we could go to dinner that evening .  I agreed with that.  He said he never rented the car he was going to because he had so much remodeling to do at the house after he \had arrived but if I wanted to chip in, he could get one for a few days at $60 a day and we could share the costs and he would take me to Tirana the capital of Albania tomorrow morning.  This was perfect.  He left to return later that evening and I went to freshen up and get on the internet to book my train to Greece.  The Manager assured me I had internet available…wrong..it was on their cable only not wireless.  I was not spending  4 nights at these prices without my interrnet access..  I also noticed  there was only one sheet on the bed and as I came out of the shower…there were no towels…I found them in the bedroom dresser.  No toilet paper so got the bartender to get me a couple of used ones out of the hall bathroom downstairs…cobwebs in the shower and  someones used  hairbrush on the sink…not exactly a four star hotel.  When the manager showed me the room he asked my name…I replied David…and he immediatly replied…Jewish?   I had never been asked that before and knew this was half Muslim and half Catholic…no Jews.  I said I was a King but not Jewish.  There were Minarets around town and people did look at me funny.  I think the Albanian Mafia is headquartered not far from here and maybe hosts their meetings in my Penthouse when it is not being rented.  Mike had commented that he knew the owner but don’t leave anything of value in the room?  OK…so now I venture across to a “Internet Cafe” across the street.  It was set up with plugs for your laptop and high speed internet free access…but  the  connection was open so anyone could tap into your computer.  I tried to get on without leaving myself open for virus or hanky panky but it was impossible and after an hour I quit with  the intention of checking out the next day.  Mike was going to pick me up in the morning for Albania so I would take my bags with me and have him drop back to the hotel I was at.  If we now had a car it was only a short 15 minute drive to Podgorica and my hotel.  The money I would save would have been the money I gave him for my share of the car and still some extra for gas.  That  evening he drove up all upset and apologized but his uncle was seriously ill or in an accident and he and his sisters had to go over there now so I would have to go eat alone.  I briefly met them then went down the street for some chicken and returned to my room.  I had mentioned my dilemma with Mike and he insisted I would stay at his home and could use the internet access his boys used..  He was not computer literate himself.  He would pick me up at 9 am for Albania tomorrow.  I retired to get on my word processor and do what I’m doing now.  My computer  would NOT open at all.  It would start and then crash.  I tried in Safe Mode, and four other  modes.  I could not get a screen to come up.  I tried opening it from my flash drive.  It would not boot up.  I unplugged it and plugged it.  I swore at it and teased it gently.  I was in a panic.  The thought of spending the next 5 weeks WITHOUT A COMPUTER threw me in a panic.  I was cursing the Cafe across the street when it suddenly , inexplicably booted up…I put in my password and prayed…it started.  I immediatly ran a security scan and am still running it.  Thank god for small miracles.  Now I hope Mike’s uncle is OK and we won’t have a funeral along with  the wedding.

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