Monday, September 12, 2011

your coffee is a girl

using our handy "free basic phrases in 25 languages" guide i confidently held up my coffee cup to the waiter and said "još jedan, molim," thinking i asked for one more. the waiter scrunched up his face in confusion, then lightened and said "your coffee is a girl." heh? "your coffee is a girl, so it is još jedna." OH!

the whole feminine, masculine, neuter language thing bites us in the butt again.

ah well, that little incident does nothing to dampen our appreciation of our current location, brac island, croatia ,just off the dalmatian coast. we arrived here a week ago and decided to extend our stay several more days and continue to lounge about like melons. there literally is nothing to do and that nothing seems to get better and better.

"class one fish," the waiter said. later, when we wowed about it, he said "i told you."
a week ago, after crossing the strait between split and brac and arriving in the middle of a 90 degree scorcher we found our way to the office that would be renting us our apartment. now, we're pretty handy with a map. we've found great joy in many places armed with just a metro pass and a map, so when she handed us a "map" to our apartment we marched on, in spite of the heat and filled with confidence. it turns out this so-called "map" was just a series of photographs laid out in a sequence supposedly to guide you through the tiny, and i mean tiny, winding streets that spill upward from the port. about 20 minutes into our hike i did the unthinkable. there was a crowd of men gathered in a park and i asked for directions. i NEVER want to ask directions. ever. i knew we were on the right path but the heat, the day, the stupid photos on the "map" were enough to drive me to this desperate measure.

the men confer with saint peter
then we met saint peter. i strategically picked out the two old men sitting on the periphery of the crowd playing cards (don't these people have jobs?), gingerly said "oprostite" (excuse me), laid my "map" in their lap and pointed. with a hopeful smile i conveyed our need for help and then a dude from across the park came strolling across as he saw our situation unfold. i was thinking of paul theroux, the acerbic travel writer who wisely noted "the loudest, most demonstrative and first to speak in the local crowd is rarely the leader. he's usually just a blowhard."

he took the map and conferred with the old men and our little conference was swelling to five, then ten men while i tried to follow along. they were speaking croatian, of course, but i'm a man, i understand maps and directions. next thing i know, saint peter, "the leader," calls the management company, has a conversation, snaps his phone closed and waves his arm, "follow me." we go hiking along another ten minutes, he points up the hill at a building and says "that is your apartment. my name is peter." thanks all around and we blissfully hiked the steps to one of the most fantastic views we've ever been privileged to enjoy. anywhere. in this particular case, mr. theroux was wrong.

harbor, supetar, brac island, croatia

brac, croatia. go if you can.

in a few days, we're contemplating dubrovnik. then maybe mostar, sarajevo and back to zagreb. we've learned not to state those things definitively but that's the current plan. we'll report back.


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  2. Your coffee is a girl, and your beer is a man?

    Oprostite indeed! Great stories.

    Are you swimming in your very hip and jumbo-sized Hungarian trunks while in Brac? I, for one, would enjoy seeing a picture of you in said trunks. Please model.

    Many happy trails!

  3. "lounge about like melons" is my new favorite phrase! They really do just lounge about, all fat and fleshy. Take a peach, for example. They sway in the breeze on a tree, drop to the ground due to gravity, roll about if given the chance. Not a melon.
    Your trip sounds so incredibly great. I devour your posts and always look forward to the next one. I love the idea of taking a series of photos and calling it a map. I think I'm going to try that some day.
    Mahout, my friends!

  4. I believe that your beer is a neuter entity. However manly it may feel.

    And Maureen, "lounging about like melons" must be attributed to the great producer of bons mots, C. Michael Malone. We do all use it a lot though.

  5. Just heard back from my friend Oriana, who is originally from Croatia. Here's what she passed along to you (bear in mind, this was BEFORE I saw your latest post):

    "We traveled there last year, and I would say that they should not miss Dubrovnik. Tell them that Monte Negro is a zoo, and most likely not worth the effort."

    I'll try to pry more details out of her about where to go in Dubrovnik. Stay tuned...

  6. "Your coffee is a girl" - charming! I've been repeating it to myself all day long. I told the story to my co-worker who was a linguistics major and he was endlessly amused...