Log in

No account? Create an account


I've been spending a lot of time lately at Panera Bread. The food is good, the staff is friendly, and it's a good place to get work done. One of the employees is a petite young lady with an eastern European last name. She reminds me a wee bit of Ira. The other night I asked if her last name was Russian. She said it was Albanian.

I told her that I knew some things about Albania. Such that it borders on the Adriatic, and that it's chief export is chrome. I'd actually had a similar conversation with another Albanian about a year earlier. It was the guy that came out to look at my HVAC. He actually seemed pretty impressed with my knowledge. I meant to blog about it at the time, but didn't get around to it.

I know these things from an old episode of Cheers. Sam and the coach were studying for high school equivalencies, and Coach came up with a novel technique for remembering some of the required facts. Here's the video:

I think the learning technique was meant to be yet another goofy idea of one of the show's less bright characters. But years after I had seen the episode, I still remember that Albania borders on the Adriatic and it's chief export is chrome. Maybe Coach's idea wasn't so goofy after all.

One might think Albanians would get tired of people showing off knowledge of their country that was gleaned from a sitcom. But neither the HVAC repairman nor the young lady at Panera Bread gave me a sense that they were, or even that anyone had mentioned the Cheers episode to them before. So maybe I'm unusual.

Or maybe the Albanians are a very patient people.