A bit of a problem in paradise


Dinner out in Vodice (wor ee che – I think)

Not sure when this report will be posted as the Internet had been down here virtually all day, and it’s almost 10 pm here now. It’s frustrating not being connected to the outside world, but not something I’m unfamiliar with. Ubiquitous high-speed connections are the norm in the U.S., but not necessarily so in other countries. In this case, I’m not sure if it’s the DSL connection in the house or the provider’s problem. The owners have been away all day so I’ve been unable to ask.

NEWS FLASH. Just talked to Visjne about the Internet being down. Seems there’s a major problem with their cable that’s buried under the road and their terrace. That will take month’s of work if they have to start digging. I’ll be long gone. Wonder when they were going to tell me. In the meantime, however, I need to find another home. That’s right, another home. Internet access is absolutely vital. For the time being, I can hike into town and use the free Wi-Fi at any of the cafes. Not ideal, but doable. Not something I want to do until December, however. I like the look of the old town section so maybe I’ll see if there are any rentals there. That’s where most of the non-landlord locals live, anyway (i.e., younger people), and might be where most of the local activity is. Trying to make lemonade, you know.

Another option: Spend only six weeks in Croatia instead of 12, and make reservations for Greece for a month from now. Pay the rent here for a month and endure the daily Wi-Fi/cafe walk and experience – I might even meet some people. Why try to find an apartment here for six weeks? Maybe this is a sign to move on.

So, now I’ve got to check bus schedules back to the Zadar airport and flight schedules for Greece for mid-October.

Went fishing at the end of the day (9.20.11). Beautiful, quiet night. Didn’t catch anything

Sept. 20, 2011, sunset over Vodice, Croatia, harbor

but I did film a nice panorama of the harbor that you should be able to see on my Facebook page at some point (go to: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001772045648 and click on photos, and then videos). However, it takes more than an hour to load and I just lost the connection for a minute so I have to start over. Will try again later.

Determined beforehand that I would also continue on into town to get dinner. I decided on

Grilling fish, Croatian style

returning to the place where we saw the grill man cooking mackerel. Man, that was a hike! And to think Visjne and I walked the entire same route the day before. She’s a trooper to take me around so far so I could get my sight adjustments. I tracked every previous step last night and found my quarry. But I was crossed between the rolled meat and the suckling pig meals. The rolled meat sounded like it would be a bunch of meat types, ground, and cooked in a pastry shell. Nope. Meat sausage links and french fries, with a rice side. The meat was good but I should have chosen the pig. The waiter gave me a shot of a clear liquid that will clean out your insides quickly and thoroughly. I have no idea why he gave it to me. Maybe he thought I was cute. Meal and a Jack Daniels on the rocks: 85 kunas/$17, with a free shot of some Croatian moonshine kicked in.

On the way back, I stopped for an ice cream cone. There are several ice cream shops in town, each with their product showcased in the big front windows. Each ice cream flavor is decorated on top with whipped cream and colorings/toppings, indicating what type of ice cream is underneath. I chose something that looked like chocolate chip vanilla, and it was, sort of. A different, but good taste to the American staple.

I’ve been to the market twice already and still need a few things. Stopped this morning on my first walk to the sea and back to fill in what I missed yesterday. Here are some of the prices: plastic grocery bags. 20 cents each; fresh garlic, $2.80/kilo (2.2 pounds); fresh tomatoes, $1.80/kilo; orange juice, $2.20/liter; fresh light green peppers, $2/kilo; butter, $2.90/250 grams (about 9 oz.); bacon, unsliced w/rind, $17.50/kilo; salami, $7/330 grams; Parmesan cheese/block, $25.80/kilo; ground beef, $4.80/450 grams; chicken breast filets/skinless, $14/kilo; milk, $1.35/liter; paper towels, $3/roll; dry tea, $1.65/20-pack; ground coffee, $5.10/500 grams; bread, $2/500G loaf; fig jam, $2.15/380G; eggs, $2.20/10; olive oil, $7/quarter liter. Meats/chicken obviously are expensive. Fruits and veggies are cheap.

Right now, I’m at one of the cafes on the water at the marina. Quite crowded. I bought a cherry strudel first at a pekara and have had two cups of coffee (kava) here at $2 each. Free Internet here but my total for this is about $7. That’s pretty expensive if I do it every day. I’m going to find someplace around here where I can sit and steal Wi-Fi without buying anything.

I’ve started writing again. The book was more than two-thirds completed when all my traveling took hold. Couldn’t stay focused on it in Asheville, with all the people and activities. The nearly two weeks in Zadar were more about finding a place to live than writing anything more than my blog. Now that I’m settled, my mind can be clearer for the book.

Speaking of the book, the one already written, that is, a friend of mine in Charleston, S.C., just had her children’s book published by Tate Publishing, so I submitted my “Love Letters from Mama” manuscript to them for print consideration. It has been accepted for publication – BUT – I will be required to have a full-time publicist before they will publish the book in print. OR – they can handle the job for $4,000. So, who wants to be my “full-time” non-paid publicist? I’ve asked Jack in Costa Rica if I can use his name. I really don’t know what kind of verification they need that I have a “real” publicist but I’m sure they will tell me. Even if you actually have a GOOD book, getting it in print is difficult, unless you’re a recognized published author already. Certainly a Catch-22.

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.
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