I found a new cafe a few weeks ago. A very hipsterish cafe, sans Mediterranean style, full of bare red brick walls, unfinished wooden tables and some pretentious musical tracks. I like it more than any other flashy bright place because it reminds me very much of New York or London, but I sometimes can’t stand its uppity and pretentious patrons: The children of Durres’ hotshot attorneys, doctors, judges, businessmen and entrepreneurs etc.
Listening to them talk is like being in an Albanian Williamsburg coffee shop. They are moneyed, privileged and even pedigreed, and look down on everyone else. They are on-point with their social and behavioral norms , unlike the disenfranchised working class young. Many-a-time I’ve observed them shoot a piercing look of disapproval at one who’s not one of ‘their own,’ merely on the basis of clothes and comportment. They talk about music, make fun of their teachers – oftentimes calling them ignorant or peasants. They make it a point to look and seem interesting through their choice of clothes, the music to which they sing along, and through an endless stream of jokes which revolve mostly around mocking one thing or another, one person or another.
They are teens and in their early 20s. In one of my previous posts I stated I had much hope in this particular demographic as they seemed more open and secure with themselves and hadn’t experienced neither Communism nor the ensuing mayhem. But I stand corrected.
The group I was talking about were mostly from middle and working classes. However, the ones who will take charge of the country belong to the upper classes, and they are the ones I have mentioned above: Shallow, self-absorbed, snobby, boastful, showy, bookish only so that they may recite a passage for you; Musical only so that they may sing a lyric to prove their mastery of English; Travelers only so they can boast about their wide horizons; Artistic only so that they can claim to be well-bred and from a ‘good’ family.
Unlike the tacky, flashy new money class of Albania, these kids prefer subdued, dark, black, trendy or even grungy clothes. The most they will flash is a watch and the universal hipster accessory of choice: a leather wrist band. The whole scene is very NYC circa late 1990’s.
I can not fathom what these kids can possibly contribute to the country. They have no care for the masses, on whom they look down. They don’t have a social conscience – though they may pretend so for a print piece or some TV cameo – yet they study law. They are the harshest discriminators, classists and bigots, but fancy themselves open-minded, tolerant and progressive.