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Around the block

I love Australia, I do. I just spent four weeks there and some things are just so easy. Friendships and socialising, shopping on a Sunday, no cigarettes or smokers, an actual variety of excellent dinner options. But it’s also expensive. Bloody expensive. I’m working from home today, back in Zagreb,...

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Moonset

The tap water is good, but not great. I pull on a pair of cords, woolly socks, boots. Put my hoodie up and put on a jacket. Out into the cold. 6am. The sky is dark; the north star is there between the buildings, but not in the north. Definitely...

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A Konzum on every corner

You are never far from a supermarket in Zagreb. The local variety is called Konzum and they are literally to be found on every corner. Once, in class, Bruno declared that you couldn’t go 150 metres without running into a Konzum, and he may have been right. We have a...

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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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What the…? No books!

I was just taking a look at Goodreads and I’ve discovered that I didn’t read a single book in October, and I’m on track to not read any in November as well. Does this ever happen to you? I was on a roll. Not that reading books is a trackable...

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The difference punctuation makes

We all know that punctuation matters. What’s that old story? Grammar and punctuation are the difference between: “Let’s eat Grandpa!” and “Let’s eat, Grandpa!” Sometimes, all it takes is a paragraph mark. I wrote a poem some time ago about a man and a boat. An opportunity came up recently...

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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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Put the light on

I used to live in a hostel, in London. I lived there for a year and a half, sharing a room with five boys. Double bunks, we had, in that small room. I had the top bunk by the window. I loved it. Below me was a young Australian man,...