Food and Drink #2–Two Beer or Not Two Beer

Well, we found the perfect place for two folks with English degrees–Shakesbeer.  And we answered the question “Two Beer or Not Two Beer” with some finality.  Half liter Korca on draft for $1.50 each.  Man, that’s livin’.  We’ll be back there for sure, whether is nobler to suffer the mugs and gnoshes or order another round and take beers against a sea of trouble . . .


7 thoughts on “Food and Drink #2–Two Beer or Not Two Beer”

  1. Greg,
    I knew you would find good sources for BEER. It would be nice if we could all join you at Shakesbeer…very poetic, no doubt.

    How is the political situation there?


    1. They even have an outside sort of beer garden area, sort of like the places they make the BEER group sit in Pinellas.

      I don’t know how much you hear about the political situation in the States but most of the people I’ve talked with seem to see it as very much a political matter and don’t seem heavily involved in it. Maybe I’m not hanging out with people who are subversive enough. They all acknowledge there is corruption in government and they value democracy and see the US as a leader for the world towards democracy. If anything, I think some Albanians see American democracy as more smooth and effective than it is. I was telling someone the other day that democracy is messy and involves a certain amount of arguing, debate, etc. so that maybe they shouldn’t feel Albania is failing in moving towards democracy. We haven’t had people killed in demonstrations in Washington lately as they have in Tirana Jan 21 but we have that sort of thing in our recent history. I also wonder if exporting American democracy isn’t a little more complex than folks think. I know this sounds like I’m opening a can of worms, but hear me out. I don’t mean at all to suggest that democracy is not a very good thing for other countries to have. What I mean is that democracy developed in the US from a history of English parliamentary rule coupled with influences of the French Republic and in a place with vast amounts of land and natural resources. In countries that don’t have that unlimited potential for growth and natural resources, it has to be more complicated for democracy to develop. I’m not saying it’s impossible or unlikely, just that democracy in different countries is likely to have a different face and a different flavor. I worry a bit here that Albanians are conflating American democracy with American consumerism–in a relatively poor country there is a good amount of conspicuous consumption here in the capital. Folks from outside the US might not understand that consumerism and democracy are not the same thing. All right, guys, bring on the banter!

      1. “If anything, I think some Albanians see American democracy as more smooth and effective than it is.”

        Greg, I’ve come across this outlook, as well. Including in India (which is, of course, a democracy itself). Mansie’s father, a big reader of American history and an especial fan of Kennedy, was very surprised at the extended hullabaloo over the “hanging chads” election recount that went on and on. I think that was quite recent the first time I went there. Yeah, others can tend to have bloated expectations of the wonders of American democracy and society as a whole.

        I agree also that democracy ain’t for everyone. I find it more than a bit egocentric, or at least ethnocentric, to think so. I’ve read interviews with Iraqis who basically say (paraphrasing here), “Democracy? Are you nuts? that will never work here”

  2. Someone yesterday said that some Albanians think of democracy as more of a Libertarian kind of thing–that you can basically do whatever you want as long as you’re not directly hurting anyone else. Someone much smarter than me (Santayana?) probably came up with this long ago, but it seems that the sort of government that works for the whole society ultimately has to revolve around how it treats the old, the sick and the young. Those folks can’t be expected to fend for themselves.

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