Friday, April 1, 2011

A good week

We've had a good week here in Zagreb. On Monday my twice a month cleaning lady came. Not only did she clean the apartment, but she also French-braided Allison's hair and gave me a shoulder massage. She's a very nice lady. She doesn't speak much English but we manage and she is just very sweet.
On Wednesday we had a picnic in Tomislav Square, a few blocks from our apartment. Several Fulbrighters were able to attend (as did Spike--can you see him?). The weather was lovely. Croatians use their parks a lot--for hanging out, for napping, for making out with significant others--but not so much for picnicking. We may have been a tad conspicuous on our bright pink sheet, but we had a really nice time.

 A spring view from my study, with the tree below my window in bloom.
 This is a pita, which I have been told is Bosnian in origin. They come with various fillings. Mine was cottage cheese and spinach. Yum!!
 And this is a burek, a variation on the phyllo-and-filling theme. Allison's burek had meat and onions in it. You can buy these everywhere and they're cheap and filling, if not exactly dietetic. The combined cost for pita and burek was about $3.50. I have the distinct impression that the low-carb craze never quite caught on here.
Today we did the paperwork and interviews with the police for our temporary residency. The process went very smoothly, in part due to the assistance of a very nice person from the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education, and Sport. They don't seem inclined to expel us from the country, at least! We have to go back in a month or so to get some sort of stamp for our passports. I guess it's appropriate that I am becoming so well acquainted with the main police station here.

And in the afternoon today I gave a lecture at a high school. That was fun, and the kids asked good questions. Their English was excellent. I'll be doing that same lecture in several other locations throughout the country, which I'm looking forward to.

The weather is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend. I think we might brave Dolac on Saturday morning for some shopping. I say brave because all of Zagreb goes there Saturday mornings, and then they hang out in cafes with friends before going home for a big family meal. But I have heard rumors of wild asparagus and strawberries at the market, along with some cheeses and honey I want to try.

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