I haven't updated in a few days, mostly because it's been a pretty slow week. It's been very cold out, too cold for much in the way of excursions, so we've been holed up in our warm apartment or watching movies at the theater across the street. True Grit and Harry Potter. A wonderful thing about Croatia is that only movies for young kids are dubbed; the rest are shown in the original language with subtitles.
We did go to the Archeological Museum this week. There's an exhibit there right now on medieval torture devices, which of course I thought was pretty cool. But the permanent exhibits there are interesting, too (and with great English signage). They have stuff from the Neolithic period all the way through the Roman era, some of it dug up very close to Zagreb. A reminder of how very long humans have lived in this part of the world. There's also some Egyptian stuff and an Etruscan mummy.
We've continued our research into the Desserts of Zagreb. Here's what the cheescake looks like at the restaurant at the Sheraton across the street:
It tasted as good as it looked. Desserts here are not only plentiful and delicious, but cheap. Ice cream runs about $1 a cone--and it's really good ice cream, Allison informs me. The restaurant at the Sheraton is on the expensive side, but the cheescake cost only about $3.25 a slice. Man, it's so lucky I'm doing all that walking and stair-climbing!
I've come to the conclusion that some things are just naturally more confusing here than in the US--for the natives as well. There was this strange complication yesterday when we went to see Harry Potter, for example. But people seem to be generally good-natured about confusion--or maybe they just expect it--and things tend to work out well in the end.
One thing I really prefer here is restaurant service. Whether at a kavana (coffeehouse) or full restaurant, someone generally comes and takes your order pretty quickly. And the food comes along eventually too. And then you can sit there forever and nobody will bug you or make you feel hurried. If you want to nurse your $2 espresso and glass of tap water all day, nobody will care. And you just wave when you finally want to pay and leave.
And again, I'm impressed with the patience with which Croatians handle my lack of language skills. People who speak English (and many do, especially younger people) very politely switch to English right away. And those who don't resort to gestures (or, now and then, make an attempt in other languages like German). Nobody TALKS REALLY LOUDLY in Croatian, as if that might help me magically understand. And with the exception of a single person, nobody has been snotty at all to me about it.
I am slowly picking up a word here and there. My Croatian vocabulary so far is...eclectic. A lot of it is food-oriented. Sometimes I dredge up my rusty Russian and that helps, too (like yesterday, when I had to figure out which bathroom at the theater was the women's *g*). Still, it's a little relief when I get to talk with native English speakers now and then!