Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
124Trip End Ongoing
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"We are the middle children of history, with no purpose or place" - Fight Club
So there we are - being served German beer and Rusian vodka by a Croatian waitress in an Irish and JRR Tolkien themed pub in uptown Zagreb, watching Mexico play Angola on the telly..... At some stages of the evening things got more than a little confusing.
We've been in Zagreb for two days now, having arrived from an overnight train from Munich. We've been staying in a nice little hostel about 2km from the city, which is just close enough to walk to and from the town centre when we can't find a free tram at 3 am.
A note on free trams... I refuse to use the tram in Nottingham for ethical reasons, but I imagine they work the same as other cities (your Pragues, your Amsterdams, your wherevers) in that nobody ever buys a ticket. It's really odd. You think the authorities would notice that their tram has been full all day, but when it comes to checking the ticket validating machine there's only been four punters. Great, obviously, for people like us - scum, I mean.
Anyway, Zagreb's a great little place - nice buildings (the ones that aren't falling down), beautiful women, cheap beer, big parks.... In fact there's a park opposite the hostel that we went for a wonder in, and there are these big ponds full of Koi Carp and Turtles! Who would have thought it! And there's a Zoo, which we didn't go in for the following ethical reasons:
Vinny: I'm morally opposed to zoos, especially ones like this where the animals are kept in tiny cages. It's wrong in many different ways.
Me: Yep..... And it costs two quid.
But they did have a big bored looking elephant, which led onto (as it does) a conversation about the staying power of Rudolph Hess - didn't bother killing himself until 1983! What's going on there? Did it get to the stage where we started to walk around with mobile phones as big as our heads, and he thought to himself "Right, that's the end of National Socialism..... for now"?
Our first night out in Zagreb we tried to throw ourselves into the spirit of things, only to find out that everything closes at 1AM. With no warning. And they don't seem to do kebab shops, so the only late night food option was McDonalds, which we're trying to avoid.... So we walked home. Vinny, bless him, was so tired that after walking for twenty minutes he suddenly stopped in front of a parked car that was in his way.
I turned back around and enquired as to what the problem is, but he ignored me, choosing instead to stand and stare at this car blocking his path. It transpired that he had actual fallen asleep whilst walking, and the car had become the prize in a gameshow he was winning in a dream where I was the host. He had been studying it to try and find the price tag so he could sell it.
We're very happy with our decision to take a break from Germany, and we're going to use the time to do a nice tour of Eastern Europe. Tonight we jump on a bus down to Dubrovnik on the Adriatic, where we'll have our first taste of being at the seaside. Then we're off to Mostar and Sarejevo, where we'll have our first taste of being ill at ease.
The heat here is ridiculous - during the day it's 35 degrees in the shade and at night it's 25..... and it's about to get hotter as we're going a further 600km south. Good times all round.
Our second night out we found that we were just in the wrong places, and managed to keep the fun rolling until half two. Problem is that no matter how you look at it, by the time you've walked 2km home and sung every song you can think of that you each know at least half the words for, you can't help but be sober...
Oh, and incidentally, we don't actually wear those aviator sunglasses from that photo out in public.