He’s 6 ft tall and smoking, but the youngster standing with a posse of friends on a street corner of Has, a tiny town tucked away in the mountains of northern Albania, is only 13 years old.
When he pulls out his cigarette packet to offer me one, his high-pitched voice makes it clear he is still a child.
Despite his youth, like so many young males in this depressed backwater he is determined to escape Albania as soon as possible.
‘I go on a boat to England next month,’ he assures me in near-perfect English, with only a slight trace of an Albanian accent.
‘Six of my friends from school have left for your country this summer. I miss them already.’
Mayor of Has, Liman Morina, 52 (pictured on August 10), says he wants to erect a statue of the Queen because so many teenage boys are leaving the town for the UK
He tells me his name is Gjergi but, as I get out my notebook and write it down, things begin to get nasty.
Violently grabbing the pad from me, he demands my pen and…