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Vyckie Garrison Has Moved to Albania


bubblekitty
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Random stuff since we're talking Nebraska, where I have never been.

However, I worked with a guy who grew up on a working farm in Nebraska.  He told us that one year his dad averaged up all the years the farm made a profit and all the years the farm ended up in a hole -- they broke even.  The kids were sent to college, though. He's probably in his mid to late 60s now.  In "those days" of the mid 1960s to mid 70s, attending a state college was an inexpensive proposition, tuition was very cheap relative to the cost of living, which in a place like Omaha would have been very low. 

When I was in college in Austin in the same time frame (1966-1971),  tuition was low ($200/semester!) and the cost of dorms/rent were just not a factor.  I came from a family of very modest means and some school loans were involved, but they were not difficult to pay back once I began working.  

Sadly, these days Austin is growing explosively and real estate prices and rents are approaching the astronomical. 

Anyway, when his parents passed, the farm was sold and a drone photo used in the real estate ad showed a  house and barn surrounded by trees with a nearby creek;  the rest?  Fields -- pasture and crop land.  

He moved to  Colorado where I met him and he eventually bought a farm that looked EXACTLY like the setting where he grew up and is currently truck farming and raising chickens. 

Where was I?  Oh, right!  I will NEVER stop getting a kick out of scrolling threads on FJ and seeing Vyckie Garrison Has Moved to Albania.  I hope she's enjoying herself, but I just did a quick google and found this:  

Is Albanian hard to learn?

Yes. The Albanian language is considered to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. Especially so to native English speakers. ... Aside from the different dialects, intonation is also very important to the Albanian language similar to many of the east Asian languages such as Mandarin and Japanese.

Edited by Howl
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8 hours ago, Howl said:

He moved to  Colorado where I met him and he eventually bought a farm that looked EXACTLY like the setting where he grew up and is currently truck farming and raising chickens.

Ok, I get raising chickens... but what is truck farming?!

I have been to neither Albania nor Nebraska, and thinking about it I realised my preconceptions about Albania apparently come from WW2 movies, while my preconceptions about Nebraska seem to be from Cold War movies. Both are obviously a fair bit out of date, and now I would like to travel to both to see what they are like (when this pandemic ends and it is possible again. Sigh.)

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17 minutes ago, Ozlsn said:

Ok, I get raising chickens... but what is truck farming?!

I have been to neither Albania nor Nebraska, and thinking about it I realised my preconceptions about Albania apparently come from WW2 movies, while my preconceptions about Nebraska seem to be from Cold War movies. Both are obviously a fair bit out of date, and now I would like to travel to both to see what they are like (when this pandemic ends and it is possible again. Sigh.)

I feel like maybe it's when you farm big enough to sell produce out of the back of a big truck in town or at a stand) farmer's market but not so big you could sell to canned vegetables companies

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1 hour ago, Ozlsn said:

Ok, I get raising chickens... but what is truck farming?!

@Grace is correct, or at least we have the same definition.  My ex-coworker is selling produce at the local farmer's market and to local restaurants, but various definitions online put truck farming somewhere between commercial agriculture and subsistence farming.   

They also do community supported agriculture, where locals pay a subscription fee up front at the beginning of summer and get a weekly box of produce. 

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28 minutes ago, Howl said:

@Grace is correct, or at least we have the same definition.  My ex-coworker is selling produce at the local farmer's market and to local restaurants, but various definitions online put truck farming somewhere between commercial agriculture and subsistence farming.   

They also do community supported agriculture, where locals pay a subscription fee up front at the beginning of summer and get a weekly box of produce. 

fun factoid: Even though truck farmers frequently haul their produce to markets in trucks, the word 'truck' in truck farms does not refer to the transportation vehicle, which is derived from Latin for wheel, but rather from the old north French word troquer, which means "barter" or "exchange". The use for vegetables raised for market can be traced back to 1784 and truck farms to 1866.

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When I was a teenager during the cold war, Albania was one of those allegedly Communist outliers. A bit like Yugoslavia. Commie, but not really under Soviet control. As far as I recall - and this is a very UK 1980s perspective - it was ‘officially’ Communist, but in reality was just an Enver Hoxha dictatorship.  And my mum was a Communist, so we were predisposed to favour this kind of stuff, but even we were wary of Albania.
 

So, in the early 80’s, we went to Corfu on a family summer holiday. To a resort on the coast facing Albania. At night we could see the searchlights from Albania sweeping the sea for anyone trying to escape to Greece. Despite being a proto-commie, I decided to exercise my middle-class privilege by trying parasailing - that thing where you are attached to a parachute towed behind a boat.
 

Right before I set off, the bloke in charge mentioned that the boat had to keep strictly in Greek waters or I could get shot by the Albanians. I mean, I was already terrified of what hugely intelligent and potentially vengeful octopi would do to me if I splatted in deep water, but this was something else. And to be shot by fellow travellers on the commie path? Did they not know who my mum was? Jeez. Way to totally ruin something I was already terrified of. And that is my Albania story.

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When I was in junior high circa 1970 I remember my geography teacher saying that Albania was the poorest country in Europe.  That's all I learned about Albania.  I'm sure things are much better today.  I've never visited that part of Europe.  

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3 hours ago, Threff said:

When I was a teenager during the cold war, Albania was one of those allegedly Communist outliers. A bit like Yugoslavia.

Yugoslavia was socialist, very different from its then-Eastern Bloc neighbors, including Albania. During its existence, Yugoslavia was held together by the force of Tito's will & personality, which meant that they could take a socialist path of governance that was considerably more open than the Eastern Bloc.

At the time, many Americans insisted on lumping Yugoslavia in with all of the other "commie" countries under the thumb of the USSR. Ignorant, of course, but that's Americans for you. Had any of them actually spent time in both Yugoslavia and a truly communist nation, they would have seen the difference pretty goddamn quick.

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1 hour ago, hoipolloi said:

Yugoslavia was socialist..

At the time, many Americans insisted on lumping Yugoslavia in with all of the other "commie" countries under the thumb of the USSR. Ignorant, of course, but that's Americans for you. Had any of them actually spent time in both Yugoslavia and a truly communist nation, they would have seen the difference pretty goddamn quick.

Good point, and I stand corrected. We in the UK were just as brainwashed during the cold war. No-one except us die-hard lefties really ever travelled to Eastern Europe for holidays back then. Although my mum being my mum, we did go on a package holiday to Romania in1979. That was quite a trip.

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10 hours ago, Caroline said:

When I was in junior high circa 1970 I remember my geography teacher saying that Albania was the poorest country in Europe.  That's all I learned about Albania.  I'm sure things are much better today.  I've never visited that part of Europe.  

That’s more than I learned.  For years, the only thing I knew about Albania was that it was John Belushi’s ancestral homeland.

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21 minutes ago, smittykins said:

For years, the only thing I knew about Albania was that it was John Belushi’s ancestral homeland.

I never knew Belushi had an origin story! 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/6/2021 at 8:22 AM, Howl said:

I never knew Belushi had an origin story! 

I watched a biography about him once. He and his brothers were raised by his Albanian grandmother whom he was very close to. His parents were working so much that they needed her to raise the kids.

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