18.05.2007 - 18.05.2007
So off the bus and surrounded by a crowd of screaming ladies, I know I know, I should be used to it ,but these ones were all over the age of 50 and segregating me from safety better that lions on the Savannah. After negotiations I was bundled off by the English speaking Matron to an old dear of about 75 whose only words in English are “super” and “no problem”. Now having done this travel gig for 3 years warning bells normally ring when someone wants money and the only repetitive sentence they can say is “no problem no problem”. However this old dear had a secrete word in her arsenal, and after shaking my hand with sticky fingers, from the bag of empty bottles she was carrying later, explaining them as all Kuna (local Croatian currency) she dropped the bomb … Raki Raki. So like a moth to a flame this Kiwi was dragged off to this lady’s apartment. This turned out to be a cosy little place that she rents out with 4 beds, a bath room and TV. I kid you not, she sleeps on the terrace under a tarp, with a camping stove.
So like most Kiwis I don't give a dam where I lay my head as long as it follows my golden rule....... It must be cheap! This place fitted in with this rule like a glove and the passport details were handed over while she poured her and me a good stiff shot of this stuff before mentioned Raki. “Cheers” she smiles, and knocks it back like water with that little twinkle in her eye that you get with wisdom. Dave on the other hand still recovering from the night before did everything he could not to spit this........ well ....paint stripper across the living room floor for fear of it removing the varnish.
After the payment was made and insisting that I wear a pair of slippers instead of my jandals around the house (Yes she won that battle of wits too and found a pair big enough for my hoofs) she insisted that one more shot was had in a tone that made me feel like a child that had just been caught drawing on the walls.
Now lets talk about hospitality plus, she placed a big bowl of biscuits on the coffee table then ran off to come back waving a loaf of bread and, what I thought was jam, under my nose. “Yes please” I said politely (dam you mother for installing me with 24 years of good manners!!) to the bread, and she also put out a plate with two of the softest floury apples you have ever seen. Now did I mention I am severely hung over after goodbye drinks with my Swedish mates? As I pull the lid off the “jam” I find to my horror that it is actually pork (I think) paste with big lumps of fat floating about. I sat there giggling at some thing Elisabeth had said one night at a bar in Rimini "Life is like a pair of flip flops you never know what your going to get on your feet", how true. Right! deep breath! I slowly dig in under her watchful eye, only to have her come bounding in smiling with a handful of spring onions to accompany my pig paste.
I watched the news in Croatian and struggled through a whole loaf of bread and paste while being carefully supervised by my new best friend. Who knew you could eat the entire spring onion bulb, stalk and all. I have chewed an entire pack of gum and still have a bad taste in my mouth …. got to love travelling hey.