A lazy day in Dubrovnik

Trip Start Nov 09, 2007
Trip End Feb 03, 2008

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

We had nothing scheduled for today, so we did a bit of wandering about. We caught a bus to check out one of the shopping centres around Dubrovnik and tried to do a bit of Christmas shopping, without much success.
It was very cold in Dubrovnik today, even though the official record said the maximum was 6 degrees, the blasting chills from the north wind made it seem so very much colder. The locals we asked confirmed for us that it was very cold, even for them. As a result it was very quiet in and around the town.
The girls were astounded when their park had received an overnight paint job. The chairs on the seesaw had been replaced, the twirlygig had been straightened and every metal surface had been painted. It looked like a new park and Georgie and Maggie were both proud and disappointed. Proud of their new-look park but disappointed that this meant they were not allowed to play on it until the paint had dried.
I needed to access the Internet to post up a few days of blog that I had written and also to check email etc so rather than pay for it we all paid a visit to 'Katie O'Connor's Irish Pub', a small bar that has free wireless Internet access and is just one street away from our apartment. We ordered a drink and asked about food (they had none). They were happy for us to bring in food from the place called Gris next door though, so we enjoyed some chips and a delicious grilled chicken sandwich.
While we were enjoying the ambience of the pub, we started to hear, in increasing volume, a conversation between a drunken Englishman (who turned out to be called Steve) and the barman. It appeared that the Englishman had lost his wallet and was complaining bitterly to the barman about it. This apparently necessitated lots and lots of swearing on his part and some consoling words from the barman, who was clearly embarrassed by the drunk's behaviour. At some stage Steve learnt that his wallet had been found, but was being held to ransom for 300 Euros by the finders. This increased the drunken Englishman's ranting to a roar. 'I'll rip their f**ken arms out. I'll slice them into pieces. When I get finished with them they'll wish they've never been born' etc etc. The barman came over to us and explained what was happening and apologised profusely for the noise. We said that it was not his fault and was in fact a bit entertaining.
The barman told us that Steve has been living in Croatia for more than 2 years and the wallet had most likely been found by some junkies. After a while Steve must have vented enough steam and left the pub. I wonder if he got his wallet back?
We got home and the girls went to bed. We have 845 channels here. All but one is in any language but English. So we can watch the news repeated endlessly on BBC World or take our chances on some other foreign language channels. We found an Italian channel, Rai, that had a show on called Ciao Darwin and is appeared that the big debate was whether the girls from the north or Italy were better or were the girls from the south in fact superior. Even though it was all in Italian, it was reasonably easy to work out what was going on. There was a panel of about 40 girls from each region (Donna del Nord and Donna Del Sud). Various girls were put through different challenges and then an audience of drooling Italian men were given the chance to vote, North or South. As the night wore on (the show lasted at least 3 hours) the tasks seemed to involve less and less dress. G-strings were the order of the day in the 'fashion parade' (won by the girls of the south). Everyone appeared to have a rollicking good time and the girls of the North were victorious eventually. It was an interesting slice of Italian culture for us.
There is a nightclub directly underneath our apartment, three floors below us. This nightclub has very loud music until very late at night, sometimes as late as 4am. I had promised Jess that I would go down and check it out. I think she expected me to join in the fun, but I was too meek to do any such thing. Instead I popped down to see what was going on. It's funny, because by day this looks like a small bar and a number of doors onto our very narrow alleyway that seem to belong nowhere. By night it transforms and when I checked it out, all of the doors led to parts of the nightclub (or was it a number of separate nightclubs?). There must have been several hundred people there, at least. I think that my appearance must have had some magical effect because they shut down the nightclub quite early tonight!
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