Category: Zagreb Life

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Nice People

In the town of Borlange, whose motto is “Nice People”, the locals are uneasy about the large number of Somalis who seemingly don’t want to integrate. In steps Patrik Andersson, a local snakeskin-boot-wearing entrepreneur, who fervently believes that all this can be fixed with a simple game of Bandy –...

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Advent in Zagreb

It’s that time again – advent in Zagreb. Back when we arrived in 2013, there was one fairly small but cool Christmas market near the funicular. We went there each night to eat sushi (!) and drink beer and chat to the guy who ran it. He was from Syria...

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Keeping Croatia in the top 5

I learned this week that Croatia is in the top five alcohol consumers of Europe. The list looks like this: Truly, I’m surprised. C and I often talk about how rarely we see drunk people roaming the streets of Zagreb. It just doesn’t happen. As far as we can tell,...

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The burglar

We woke this morning to a white Zagreb. No, not snow, not yet. Just a foggy gauze which has surrounded the whole city, enveloping it. I imagine it must have crept down the mountain during the night, sneaking down streets and alleyways to enclose us completely. Our silent burglar, robbing...

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A mad marathon

It’s the time of year again when I walk down Ilica going “gosh it’s quiet, there aren’t any trams” and then realise that the Zagreb Marathon is on. I took a bunch of photos – most of which are shit because, as it says right there in my byline, I’m...

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The painter in the Konzum

In Australia – I dunno, maybe this is a cliche – but in Australia men with physical jobs, say plumbers or builders or painters, will pack their Esky full of leftovers, sandwiches, soups and bring it in for their lunch. Mostly it’ll be last night’s dinner or whatever their partners...

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The peripatetic book lover

It’s not easy being a book lover on the road. My parents (bless them) have several hundred of my books in storage in their garage, and yet I still shipped over two boxes of printed matter! One box of those were my diaries and notebooks and various works in progress....

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Between the buttocks of a naked statue

I am sitting between the buttocks of a naked statue and an ancient water pump and in the midst of, alternately, the smell of herbal cigarettes and fried pastry. Croatian men have deep resonant voices that sound unreal, as in they don’t actually sound real, a bit forced or something....

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Zagreb After Hours

If you get to the Dolac, or any of Zagreb’s markets, just as it’s closing, you’ll see a small army of old women in three-quarter length worsted skirts, digging through the leftover boxes, looking for food. This is Zagreb after hours. You can get quite a meal, if you know...

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Return to the Dolac

And here I am, back at the Dolac, as though time had never passed. The weather is warmer than when we left, the sun is shining, people look less miserable as they stand about hawking their wares. The air of desperation that wearies you in winter is gone. Today they...