What happened after 1990 when amateur radio operations started from Albania is known by everyone. Several local hams are active now and also visitors can be worked regularly. However I still like to tell my story as it was quite an experience to see the contrast between my own operation in 1994 and the preceding 30 years.
In October 1994, I had to be in Tirana for a week to work for Albanian Telecom. On Monday I asked one of the staff if he could bring me to the office where they could issue me a license. He took me to the office in the Head Quarters of Albanian Telecom where I met Mr. Frederik Kote, secretary of the Radio Communications Administrative Center, which is the executive body of the National Radio Communication Commission.
I explained that I would like to apply for an Albanian Amateur Radio license and presented copies of my Dutch license, a letter of recommendation and some other additional papers. He said that it was OK and gave me a kind of an invoice which I had to pay in the Post Office. The amount was 5000 Leke which is about $60. After payment, the license could be picked up on Wednesday. After I had paid the fee, I went to Mr. Kote on Wednesday with my receipt and he gave me my license, printed in the Albanian language and English.
When I saw the Head Quarters of Albanian Telecom the first time, I spotted a 3 element beam which was installed there during the IARU mission. So I asked Mr. Kote if I could see the radio station. He informed me that the station was removed and that only the beam was left in its place. I had hoped to use the radio station in the building because that would avoid bringing my own gear. When asking about bringing in my own radio station, Mr. Kote said that I could do so, now I had my license. Customs would not be any problem.
During my first visit I had already inspected the small apartment where I was living. Very limited space and lots of TV antennas and satellite dishes in the surrounding. I decided to prepare my good old Butternut HF6V and a 40 meter dipole and some extra wire.
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