Thursday, April 7, 2011


It's 79F outside right now, with a little breeze and a few puffy clouds. One of those days where you wish you could bottle the weather and save it forever. I have quite a bit of work to get done but didn't want to the day to go completely to waste. So Allison and I made our way to a nearby sidewalk cafe--there are 6 or 7 within a block of us--and sat there with our Kindles, reading and eating cheesecake. And if that isn't the definition of a perfect afternoon, I don't know what is.

A few recent observations:
  • Everyone's mood seems to have lifted when the weather improved. Not that folks were surly to begin with, but when it was cold and gray, folks rarely smiled in public. Now everyone smiles--the waiters, the people in Dolac. Even the Konzum checkers. It's nice.
  • I have a favorite bakery now. Naturally (and probably fortunately) it's not one of the zillion of them within a 5 minute walk from my place. No, this one is up at Dolac, 20 minutes away. They have a truly enormous selection and everything I've tried there has been delicious. Yesterday I could not decide on a loaf of bread, so the friendly girl behind the counter (who spoke English) recommended one to me. It was made from cornmeal with pieces of corn inside, and it was incredibly tasty. We have gobbled up the entire loaf alread.
  • One of the things that makes walking in Zagreb very diverting is that fact that shops change their window displays extremely often. There's a stretch of street I walk several times a week on my way to the main square, and it seems every time I pass by the displays have been changed.
  • Thus far I have resisted the effort to buy shoes. This effort has been monumental, because Zagreb has more shoe stores than any place I have ever seen.
  • Despite the fact that many of the locals drive like maniacs and they get very impatient behind the wheel--I was once nearly run over by a pair of nuns!--accidents don't seem common. Yesterday I happened to walk by the aftermath of an extremely minor fender bender, where there were 2 police cars and 4 officers busily filling out forms.
  • Yesterday I remembered to buy blood oranges at Dolac before they go out of season. This is a different variety than the Moros I've seen in California--thinner skin and sweeter flesh. Delicious.

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