Did you know...
- The Albanians call Albania ‘Squiperia’ or Republika e Shqiperise in full.
- For about 10 years (1968-1978) , Albania’s only ally in the world was China. After China, Albania had no allies and was basically more isolated than North Korea until 1991.
- Mother Teresa (Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu) is generally celebrated as the only Albanian to win a Nobel Prize, though born in Skopje in 1910 (now in Macedonia but then in the Ottoman Empire).
- Albania, Armenia and Vatican City are the only European countries without a McDonald’s branch.
- In 1995, drivers in the Albanian city of Shkodra refused to pay a new traffic-light tax on the grounds that their city had no traffic lights.
- Albanians nod their head up and down to mean ‘no’, and shake it from side to side for ‘yes’ like Indians and Bulgarians.
- King Zog of Albania (ruled 1928-39) was the only national leader in modern times to return fire during an assassination attempt.
- Albania had 3 million people but only 3000 cars at the end of the communist era in 1991 because private cars were illegal. Today, Albania has many cars and perhaps 1/3 are Mercedes of varying legal statuses.
- Albania has the second highest rate of sex selective abortion in the world, between India and China.