Monday, March 9, 2009
I'm no good with titles
I suppose it's been a while since I've posted, but it's also been a while since anyone's asked why I haven't posted, so I think we're all on the same page here. I've basically been busy and lazy at the same time, which are not mutually-exclusive, now that I think of it.
I am honing some decent home-repair skills as of late: patching walls after water damage, installing kitchen machinery, staining wood, and setting controlled fires to take care of those pesky garbage piles. On top of that, there's been a little office work, and I'm keeping up with some projects I had at home. As a result, I'm ostenibly attached to my laptop, and my hosts look at me funny when I go into town with my laptop bag on me because I will eventually be looking for wireless access at a cafe. Coffee and cigarettes have also made a big jump in daily importance: morning joe is just as much a ritual here as it is back home, but unlike the grab-n-gulp observed in the states, time effectively stops around coffee and a cigarette for about 30 minutes, meaning my day is supposed to start at 8am but starts closer to 9.
With a backpack full of papers and gadgets, I recently joined my hosts to look around the City Galleria in Zadar, a mall that only went up a few months ago and is full of trendy stores that you've certainly never heard of. Prices for almost everything are comparable to upscale U.S. outlets, though stores also regularly feature clothes that I assumed were out of reach for most Croatians (the salary for most people rarely exceeds $1000 a month) . The mall also features a few bar/discotheques that look pretty swank, one of which features karaoke on Wednesdays (OOH!). I also wish I had brought my camera to the mall, because in the middle of the mall are a few pony-rides for kids. Not real ponies, but big plastic ones attached to an electric motor that you plop a coin in and ride for a few minutes. What stands out in this area is a FULL-SIZED HORSE complete with saddle and full detail. It is more than 5 feet tall at the shoulders, and the only thing it does is oscillate back and forth on its 4 rigid legs (a trot or gallop does seem a little too much to hope for). I'll get you pictures of this as soon as muster up the courage to look like a foreign-born pedophile and brush up on the "police relations" section in the Croatian phrasebook.
On the topic of equines, there is a family nearby that has a donkey/mule/ass tied to a post for most of the day. It's pretty chill, standing in one spot and grazing for most of the day. On occasion, though, it will bray (bay? Michael Bay?) for a good 5 minutes or so. My host/manager has befriended the donkey and will usually make a daily trip to feed it old bread and some water. As soon as I fashion a makeshift Shrek outfit, I will take the donkey into town.
I suppose that's most of what I've been doing so far. Week 1 out of 12 weeks without my family, friends, or Jen. It's already starting to get tough, but hopefully I'm preoccupied to the point where I don't even notice coming home.
The donkey's face says it all.
-Shrimp (& White Wine)