After a few long conference days, I played hooky for my last day in Zagreb. I visited a couple of museums I never found time for when I lived here: the Croatian History Museum (with a heartbreaking exhibit on the Homeland War) and the Zagreb City Museum. I also climbed to the top of Thieves’ Tower, from which a cannon is fired at noon every day.
This accordionist has been beneath my window most of the week. The guy in white just joined him for a few songs.
On Saturday mornings, everyone in Zagreb goes to Dolac, then meets with friends for coffee. I also met a friend for coffee and to scheme ways of coming to Zagreb again soon.
Want more of my informal social commentary? Zagreb dogs are better behaved than Parisian ones. Croatian dogs walk nicely off lead and wait until they get to parks to poop. 🙂 About 40% of the women in Paris wear scarves (the Zagreb percent is lower–maybe 20%), and about 30% of Zagreb men carry manbags of some kind (but Parisian men don’t).
A lot of things get done in Croatia through personal contacts. One of the museums I visited today costs 10kn for admission–less than $2. I went with a colleague. But the girl behind the desk recognized him because he’d visited earlier this week, and she refused to charge him again.
And yesterday I had an entire–if extremely rudimentary–conversation in Croatian with a pizza vendor (they were out of vegetarian but she found me cheese without meat instead). I was pleased with myself.
Tomorrow is the long journey home. I change planes in Paris. I have less than 90 minutes to land, get on a bus to my arrival terminal, go through passport control, run to a different terminal, go through security, and get on my plane. Want to place bets on whether I make it? Well, if not I’ll get home somehow… eventually. I suppose there are worse fates than being stuck in Paris!