Something’s gotta give


Waited all day for an e-mail that the lady called about the Old Town apartment. Finally got

View from my seat at the restaurant in Old Town at dinner. All the restaurants put tables in the alleyways, so you’re always eating with people walking by. Very European.

word after I came back from dinner that she had raised the rent and wanted a $400 deposit, which I would lose because I would be leaving sooner than I told her. It’s a dump and not worth what the rent was previously, so I’m back to square one. Going to try the apartment I found last week, which is supposed to open up in a day or two. Otherwise,  may have to do what I did in Costa Rica – find another town to locate in.

My friends here turned me onto a Croatia-language Web site for apartment classifieds that I’m starting to figure out (http://www.njuskalo.hr/iznajmljivanje-stanova/zadarska). It’s in Croatian and Bing does not translate Croatian, so I have to copy and paste into my desktop translation widget in order to read the listings. Discovered today they also have a link to send a message. Previously, I thought you had to make a phone call and that’s not going to work so well for me without the language knowledge. So I e-mailed in English and Croatian to 6-7 apartments and waiting to hear back. My friends have helped me a bunch but maybe it’s time to take things into my own hands again. 

To relieve the boredom, I walked to Old Town late afternoon with my fishing gear. The weather is changing here and there was a brisk, chilly wind off the sea. Found a jetty on the sea wall and started throwing my lure to empty water, watching the boats cruise by, the kids playing and swimming and the female sunbathers. No bites.

There were a lot of people on the jetty and many were eating food and had drinks. I noticed that some of their trash had blown into the water and no one seemed to notice. Very disheartening, given how clear and clean the water was. You can see the bottom 15 feet down. I thought it was a shame that these young people were ruining a resource they obviously so loved. Then two little girls, maybe 8-9 years old, saved the day. They jumped in and retrieved most of the floating trash. That’s something you wouldn’t see in the U.S.

My plan also called for treating myself to dinner so I went looking for a konoba-style

My dinner in Old Town. I mostly sucked the juice from the meat as it was not chewable.

restaurany Anita had pointed out to me previously. She says the konoba restaurants serve authentic Croatian food. Seems like they specialize in rissoto dishes with various fish included, as well as some other fish dishes. There was a Dalmatia beef stew with gnoccis, some beef dishes, fried fish and shrimp, and lots of pasta dishes. The food here has a heavy Italian influence, caused by the many times the area has been controlled by its neighbor across the Aegean. I tried the mussles and a small order of spaghetti carbonara. The mussles were almost inedible, although tasty from the garlic. The pasta had a too-heavy cream sauce. Everything was all carte, including water and bread. If you want Coke for your drink, you pay extra, too. Never been to an Italian restaurant that charged you for bread. The place is called Konoba Stomorica and it’s right in the middle of Old Town. To top it off, the waiter made me wait 20 minutes for my check. The price was OK, $22.60, but all I got was basically two appetizers and a drink. I do not recommend.

Walked back to the hostel in the dark wondering what day 11 would bring.

About 2bagsandapack

Lifetime journalist, author, magazine editor and publisher, now semi-retired and traveling the world. My plan, after living in Costa Rica for 14 months, was to visit a new country in southern Europe every three months to experience the culture and the challenge of adapting to a new environment, while on a fixed income. That plan was sidetracked when I was offered a job in Indonesia, providing an opportunity to explore Asia. Indonesia lasted for a 4 wonderful years but I have now moved on to Hua Hin, Thailand.
This entry was posted in Croatia, Dining Out, Fishing, Local Culture, Zadar and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Something’s gotta give

  1. gracepmc says:

    Just read your most recent post — despite all, it does sound like you are settling in. I am a big fan of the islands (have some funny islands stories tucked away as well)and hope you can get some good fishing in if you decide to go. I am also a big fan of the ferry system — throughout this area and Greece, Turkey and Italy as well. Some people may not be. Although I do admit to spending almost all of my time on deck, in the event of some potential disaster. Not being very mechanical the fact that the drive in “door thing” closes up and the ship sails away without leaking continues to amaze. Over the years I got to know some of the crew on various crossings so it was particularly fun for me. That said – hope you like Dubrovnik, one of my favorite places. Assume you will go by bus and get a good glimpse of the coast. And it sounds like you are making good connections. As you can probably tell from your research and online friends there is a sea front road leading into and out of old Dubrovnik. I will spare you my basic right and left directions but alongside are homes, hotels, bars, etc. For living I prefer this area to the wharf or old town. It is an easy place to get around. You should have a fine time. Looking forward to reading more of your journey. Stay well.

  2. gracepmc says:

    Hooray for you! Looks like your Vodice cup runneth over — apartments, people, internet and a slug of the local moonshine! Who knows — maybe that elusive Adriatic fish will finally take the bait. Great pix by the way. Cheers.

  3. gracepmc says:

    There’s probably more than meets the eye. Opportunities for fishing too — the mackeral looked good.

  4. 2bagsandapack says:

    It should be a good place to relax, write and learn.

  5. gracepmc says:

    Nope, not a guy. Sounds like Vodice has a lot going for it.

  6. 2bagsandapack says:

    Paula, huh. I would have bet you were a guy. Sounds like your life is worth a book. And while I didn’t pick Croatia because of its history, I certainly am discovering its complexity.

  7. gracepmc says:

    I don’t believe in coincidence either. Ok, settle in.
    My name is Paula. I currently live in Punta Gorda, Florida — a shade south of your former stomping ground. I came here to make a change and because after years of working overseas I had an opportunity to be with my father. He has since passed away and I am looking for a way out. My tentative plan is an online gig which will allow me to do something similar to what you are doing and hopefully make some extra money.
    I am a first generation American — parents from Slovakia. So, I am Slavic. I was raised in Europe primarily (army brat), moved around US, long story long story gets me to a degree in European History, and an MA in what was called Contemporary Soviet and Eastern European History 19thc +. Foreign Policy Analyst WDC Think Tank, Move to California — years of entrepreneurs and business, wall came down in Berlin — I had an idea to marry my education and my entre/bus experience in that part of the world moving from command and control to capitalism. Over the years got opportunities in all of EE, Russia, Central Asia –most of the “stans”. I saw this change up front and personal in all it’s messiness, but fortunately with a historical foundation. So, the road show idea worked.
    I will try not to be preachy on your blog. (I tend to get excited and preach) But I will say this — yeppers, you opted for one of the most historically “complex” “countries. You have nationalities, ethnicities, religions, languages etc. All going through a historical stage. Lucky you. Really. The history is fascinating.
    As for America. You are America to all the people you will meet. Funny story — I was in a compromising bad situation in a cave in Yugoslavia (Dalmatia I think) and the person I was with asked me if I was afraid. Truth be known I was. But I said, “No. Why should I be? I’m an American. ” As if something with the stars and stripes was going to swoop
    down and save me! As a former military guy I guess you know to keep God, country and family with you always. It’s worked for me. (ok except for those times I was in Russia when someone would notice my Russian “accent ” and ask if I was Polish. So yes, I was Polish for that moment. It was so much easier on a rough day.)
    And if you have the time, a little German will go a long way — throughout Europe and all the languages and dialects.
    I am also an NCIS fan and would have loved to have been Abbey in another life — oh so long ago! 🙂
    This is the longest post I will make. Now you know. Great blog. Enjoy the life in front of you. Even the “Polish” days.
    Peach brandy? Really? See if you can track down some home made slivovice (sp/) pronounced sleeve oh vitz or some variation thereof. Be safe. Cheers.

  8. 2bagsandapack says:

    Hey, you gotta admit your duh! moments. So, I’m starting to think you know way more about me than vice versa. For example, I’ve mentioned you as a he/she, although I think you are a he. Don’t know where you are writing from, what you do, well, pretty much nothing. And, yes, Vodice sounds like a good plan – and came just at the right time. Wouldn’t you know? But I don’t believe in coincidence.

  9. gracepmc says:

    Oh, a muse! Thank you kind sir. I’ve been on that one twin bed with my feet up…and as you know, you will be there again, and again, and again. But in between so much will happen — like Vodice. This might just be the ticket to get you settled in — it’s smaller and you can have an operational base. A long time ago I read a book about travel writing and the suggested beginning phrase was “Here and now I am”. (can’t remember the author) The point was that this would allow you to take notice of all things around you. Here and now I am sitting at a red table. Here and now I am sitting at a red table and staring at the big fat bird in front of me. You get the idea. “Here and now I am” as a silent mantra, and sometimes an exasperated borderline expletive, has worked for me in so many ways. It stops me in my tracks and opens up many avenues. And sometimes “here and now I am” is followed by and Now I am getting out of Here as fast as I can! Looking forward to hearing about Vodice. And by the by you were very gracious about the Adriatic — I hesitated. Cheers!

  10. 2bagsandapack says:

    You are my muse! What a spiel. And thanks for the tactful way of telling me my geography was wrong. Adriatic-Aegean, this-that, who-haw – what does it matter anyway. I’m sitting here (having just given myself a pep talk) on one twin bed where I can pick up Wi-Fi through the window, with my feet up on the other twin bed to support my laptop. Getting my head right, if you get my drift. This dude ain’t begun to find a way. Thinking already about a smaller town but we’ll see in the next few days. Thanks for the message.

  11. gracepmc says:

    Tough week. It was 10 years ago when I was there but some things don’t change — I loved the “country” and the people by and large. I’m sure you will prevail in time, but as you know there are quirky things about every culture. My experience in former command and control economies is once change comes it comes to the people as well. Upping prices, changing conditions, wheeling, dealing etc. is part of that. It’s not the wild west but it’s not quite settled either. And surprisingly some people see Americans and they think we all have money. And as you mentioned perhaps it might be best to move on to another town. Perhaps smaller. That said,even in this day of all technological communication, opportunities can still come from local contacts as you– grocers, corner stores etc. For me, I lucked out when I met a guide at a tour company who introduced me to a family who rented me a room. Our relationship lasted well over 7 years. Luck is a product of design and some times it’s just luck.

    I also believe in dumb stuff. So, here’s a dumb idea. You love the water you said. And you are on of the most beautiful bodies of water there is. (when I first went there, I put a piece of paper on a rock on the beach and quickly got a lecture from my Dubrovnik friend about the environment, the sea and how they strove to keep it beautiful — like the kids you saw rescue the trash.) Hope springs eternal for that crystal clear sea. And here is the dumb idea — that sea is the Adriatic not the Aegean. I know you know this because of the info piece you posted on Zadar and just because I know you know — but you always talk about the Aegean. So my dumb idea is the next time you are on the water acknowledge it as the Adriatic. Who knows – it might rise up to meet you and change your fortune. Or not. (Yeppers, I talk to inanimate things).

    Bread, some wonderful Dalmatian ham and cheese, and some olive oil — good eating. And if you like anchovies, they probably are still pulling some pretty good ones out of that sea — makes for a great salad. No Abbey cafpow for you (although even that is doable with nescafe and sweet canned milk) and I don’t know what Gibbs would say but he wouldn’t give up. Settle back and drink in all that surrounds you and some of that brandy too. Cheers!

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