My office moved locations this week and of course, as I must go where it goes, so did I. My 45 minute walk is now closer to an hour, through largely the same space and along the same roads, but where it differs it really does… differ.
I still walk through Franje Tudman park, along whatever that street it is that’s parallel to Ilica, and head vaguely towards the main train station. But now I continue on further, and cross the tracks a little later, and pass many, many more intersections which is where – I have discovered – very odd things happen.
A man on Monday, evidently cranky at the world, kicked the wheels of each car that turned the corner as we stood waiting for the lights to change. He didn’t seem to mind that it hurt him more than the car. He also single-handedly exploded my theory that I never see drunk Croatians on the street, especially not at 9 in the morning.
On the next corner, on another day, maybe it was last week, a young girl dashed across the road in a frenzy, dropping her phone on to the tram tracks as she did so. It exploded into parts – as they do – with the rear spinning back into the road, the battery in another direction. She cursed, and panted, and displayed all sorts of signs of anxiety, but we 3 standing at the corner couldn’t help her. I wasn’t about to step in front of a tram to pick up her phone, and there was nothing I could say she didn’t already know. Fortunately, the tram driver, used to people dropping their phones in inconvenient places, slowed right down, rolled to a gentle stop, and allowed the young girl to gather the parts of her phone together before running onto the footpath, and down the street, and to wherever it was she had to get to in such a hurry.
I always think, when you change routes, or paths, or take the top part of the carriage instead of the bottom, or sit on the other side of the bus, or even go to a different grocery store – you see the world all over again, all anew. And you find peculiar stories there, too.