16th February 2012
Hi Guys, I wanted to start this blog in order to tell my story. I am also hoping this will be a little therapeutic. I have tried keeping a diary over the last year and half and it has helped at times and other times it has caused more harm than good. So please bear with me as I dont really have a plan for these. I want a place to just talk, to have my say. All the way through this process everybody keeps telling me “now is not the time to say that” or “you’ll do more harm than good for Mark if you say that” so I am hoping this is a place I can let it all out. Shout, sceam, cry, point the finger, place the blame, complain about bureaucracy etc. So this is your heads up, you have been warned!
So I suppose I’ll start right at the start. I met my husband, Mark, in Hersonisos Crete, Greece in May 2007. Shamefully I met him in the lock-in in “Pog mo thoins” bar on the beach road at 6am! I was on a working holiday and extended my stay until October. That summer was the best summer of my life, I met the most fantastic people, saw the most fantastic places and experienced so many new adventures! I returned to Crete twice during the winter 2007/08 and moved back to Mark in April 2008. Mark and I were married in April 2009 in Kilkenny Ireland and we moved home to Ireland in December 2009. We made the decision to move home to Ireland because I never felt safe in Crete. I loved the weather and the lifestyle but as the wife of an Albanian man in Crete I was subjected to prejudices and discrimination that were too much for me to handle and certainly not somewhere I wanted to start a family. I can tell you so many stories about my experiences, from having my apartment illegally searched on several occasions, to sweep operations, to being accosted on the street by police, to being refused internet access by my local phone shop, to being verbally abused by the local police, this list is endless… Add this to the general public’s utter disdain for Albanians and their families and the constant negative media coverage blaming Albanians for every unsolved crime in Crete… its enough to make you want to just pack up and leave and that’s why we did.
We applied for Marks Long stay visa in September 2009 and it was approved and issued to him in November 2009. We relocated to Ireland in December 2009 to start our new, safer life together.
Going to sleep now guys, have and early start preparing for Saturday. Hope to see loads of you guys there. Thanks for reading everyone, I’ll continue the story tomorrow, Naten e mire x