Sunday, March 3, 2013

A First Encounter of Croatia: From My Travel Journal, June 2000

Zagreb, 6-7-00
                I arrived in Zagreb yesterday evening without much hassle. Well, except, of course, I had just spent about 20 hours in transit. I think I'm really going to like this city. I haven't seen much of it yet. It seems a lot less-touristed than Prague. I like that. I must say, though, that Croatian men are just as fine as Czech men – I swear I fall in love on every block.
                I met a Croat at the train station in Prague just before I left. I was trying to find out departure info, so I asked him since he worked there. He looked at my ticket and asked, "You're going to Zagreb? Aren't you afraid of war?"
                "There's no war anymore."
                "Yes. I read it in the newspapers," he insisted.
                I was so tired at that point that I didn't care to argue. "Well, I have to get there anyway."
                "Why? Do you have family there?"
                "Then why are you going?"
                I made an irritated sound. "Because it's beautiful," I snapped.
                The man grinned wide, showing a gold tooth. "I am Croat! I agree – my country is beautiful!" He winked conspiratorially. "I was just testing you." He pulled out a string of pictures in the manner of a proud papa and showed me pictures of his Croatia. I was tired and nervous, but I looked over every one. 

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