I am not sure if I have already mentioned it but coffee is fundamental to Albanian society. Going out for coffee doesn’t always mean that you have to drink coffee but more often than not that is what people order. I enjoy the coffee culture here for several reasons. Going out for coffee several times throughout the day breaks up the pace of the day and gives you time to relax and talk. It isn’t great for productivity but it is good for relationships. For example, this morning a trip to introduce myself to the postmaster turned into a half hour coffee where I was offered a tour of the local castle and use of the post office computer when I want.
One thing that I don’t understand about coffee culture here is the acceptance of alcoh0l early in the morning. At my coffee with the postmaster, half of the men were drinking raki with their kafe or kafe me bishte. It was 7:45 in the morning and they were hitting the sauce! I abstain from drinking alcohol during business hours but most older men partake.