My brother, who was the class monitor, told his colleague, […] ‘Give them some math homework for the summer,’ and he gave us some typewritten sheets. And I and my classmate, […] with whom I finished eighth grade, Xhelal, we worked during the whole summer in the garden, under the shadow of the apple tree, he was a little better than I, the whole summer long, July, August until September, we split the math [homework], once each of us on our own, then we checked whether our results were correct. Well, we did it once, twice and three times. We did it and we thought, but alright, let’s say we pass the exam, but what are we going to do if we don’t? If you failed a class at that time, it was a big shame, you could not show your face in the village nor anywhere else.
And we, with our then childish mindset, took a decision […] if we failed a class, first, we would kill ourselves, we would commit suicide; second, we would kill the professor with a knife, because we had no gun, and we could find a knife, we didn’t have a knife either, but we could find it, in our mind we had three alternatives; and three, this was a little easier, we would escape to Albania. My birthplace Veleshta, […] it’s twelve kilometers from Struga. […] We would take the ship from Struga, in the port, travel for two-three hours, it was a beautiful journey […] And we would go to to Saint Naum. […] We would play, sing with friends and so on, and the border was near there […] We were not allowed to get closer to it, but we looked at it from a distance and thought that in case we didn’t pass the math exam, there were three options: suicide, murder and escape. We thought that we could escape to Albania from there, because for my generation and the generation before me, Albania was a kind of paradise and every youth of that age dreamt of escaping to Albania, all of them.