Photograph of a man selling lighter refills on the street, Albania 2009

by Stephen Hewitt | Published 7 January 2022

A man sitting on crate with his back against a building.  In front of him are two aerosol cans and some cigarrette lighters on a small broken cupboard. People are walking past on the pavement.
A man offering refills for cigarette lighters sits reading a newspaper while he waits for customers, toward 6pm on a weekday in October 2009 in a street in central Tirana, the capital of Albania (41.3311 N, 19.8175 E)

The photograph here, taken in October 2009, shows a man sitting on a crate reading a newspaper in a city street. It seemed he was waiting for customers for cigarette-lighter refills from the aerosol can in front of him. Over the course of about an hour I saw people stop to talk to him, but I am not sure that he sold a single refill.

Despite this possible indication of hard times, there were few beggars in Tirana. Those few seemed to be elderly women, as in the second photograph.

An obese woman, left hand extended open and right hand holding an open black umbrella shading her from the sun, wearing a white headscarf. In front of her people walk past on the pavement and behind her cars are passing in the street.
October 2009. A woman sits on the pavement, one of the few beggars in the centre of Tirana (41.328 N, 19.82 E)
A large open square with cars and one van thinly spread driving towards the camera, some with headlights on. On the far side of the square is a domed mosque with a slender pointed minaret tower about 110 feet high.  To the left of the mosque is a square-section clock tower showing nearly 6pm, of comparable height but lower than the minaret, both higher than any other visible structures.  Low evening sunlight from the right of the picture is reflected on the side of the clock tower.
A weekday evening in October 2009 in the centre of Tirana, Skanderbeg Square/Sheshi Sk├źnderbej (41.3285 N, 19.8184 E)

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