While the country is recovering from a series of wildfires and the primitive means of the government that failed to control them; while nearly one person a day is drowning in the rivers and seas of the country due to a lack of supervision and safety measures; while food poisoning is a daily occurrence in the Albanian hospitals; while bullets and ambushes are a daily feature of score-settling returning emigrants; while dozens of accidents happen each day and deputies walk away with murder… finally some news to lighten the mood!
The Municipality of Tirana, which just increased the drinking water price with 44% and has approved the private concession of 17 public schools, has started the renovation of the Zogu i Zi roundabout.
But don’t be fooled: “renovation of the roundabout” only means that they’ll be working on the circular platform around which the traffic of basically the entire city tries to wrap itself. Until recently, this platform included several fountains, maybe not like the ones in Rome, but sufficient to get rid of at least some of the dust and smoke that is hanging around in Tirana.
The most exiting part are the architectural renders of the new platform, quickly published by the mayor, which show that there will be again some fountains, but even a nice walking path with benches! So the mayor has chosen to “gift” his city a wonderful miniature park for the children and elderly of the area.
Completely in the middle there will be an obelisk. We don’t know whether this is a personal gift to Rama from one of the Middle-Eastern countries funding this project, or whether it’s just a banal concrete fixture, like the Veliera Square in Durrës. But the regular Tirana gossiping circuit has suggested a complicated and high-brow symbolical reading of this obelisk: it is a phallic symbol that represents the power of Tirana under the reign of Rama–Veliaj, while the sail in Durrës is “receiving,” feminine counterpart. Tirana and Durrës, like the yin and yang of Albania!
As Zogu i Zi is the busiest traffic point in Albania, with four parallel lanes, four entrance roads, and clogged-up traffic for most of the day. The natural question to ask is how long this traffic will wait for a child or senior to cross the little park in the middle in order to consciously poison themselves with the dust and exhaust gases of cars, motorbikes, and trucks?
If to manage means indeed to make choices, it is clear that ours even makes choices where there is no need. And from the looks of it, the only choices he makes are to undo the work of his predecessor, imposing on society the products of his disturbed state of mind.
Please be patient while we are working on the parks, the state will come a bit later!