More thrills than skills – A half-life in journalism, part 27

Over the next few weeks, is to publish, each weekday, edited extracts from the memoirs of Scottish war correspondent, Paul Harris. ‘More thrills than skills: A half-life in journalism’, is being scheduled for publication next year.

ALBANIA. A few days ago, I was sitting in the air-conditioned cool of the office of the Minister of Tourism in Tirana and being told persuasively of the warm welcome awaiting tourists.

Now I am sitting in the baking 38 degree heat in the remote mountains of southern Albania.

Outside the car, two policemen in extravagantly peaked caps and dark glasses are giving my driver the local lesson in driving etiquette.

One is screwing up the bunched flesh of his cheek between thumb and forefinger while the other has hold of his chin which he jerks up and down as the other screws.

I have travelled in most of the Balkans and do not regard myself as a nervous traveller.