My English Cup of Tea: The Journey of a Kosovan Albanian is a new book written by Driton Maliqi about his migrant experiences.
The author talking about himself
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In Prishtina, the capital of Kosovo, in 1998, I Driton Maliqi a twenty-year-old faced an empty future. The war with Serbia was raging in the mountains. The Serbian police and military had a stranglehold on life in Prishtina. There was no future for me in my homeland. So, like many young men of my age, I decided to leave.
My father hired a smuggler, a man specializing in the illegal transport of human beings, to take me to Western Europe. I hoped for a better life in England. Getting there meant a bus trip through enemy territory, from Serbia to Hungary; a days-long truck ride along back roads, in a truck packed tight with human cargo; a long trek through darkness to the Czech border; and a border crossing through dense forest and over raging rivers.
At length, I reached Varnsdorf, Czech Republic, the centre of human smuggling in Western Europe, where refugees the Balkans to Afghanistan went to try to get into Germany, where they could seek asylum or move on to places like England. After months of failed attempts to cross the border, days without food, nights in German and Czech jail cells and among dozens of other refugees packed into single rooms in “refugee hotels,” and still more trouble inside Germany, I finally made it to England, to begin the new life I had sacrificed so much for. But even then, my journey–of dry Balkan wit–was still far from over…
I was born in Prishtina in 1978. After the events I described in this book, my first, I settled in Canada in 2008. I live and write in Montreal.
The book can be bought via amazon.com: