I woke up early with a dry throat because I didn’t have much water the night before and I’m not used to the new hot climate. I walked to see the fresh light on the water. There were dry hills in the distance, which reminded me of the Columbia Gorge. Thoughts in my mind forced me to realize that I’m here, the land of my great grandfather. I keep telling myself that I need to slow down. Ever since I’ve been here, I’ve been running from place to place, stopping only to eat. Not the way I desire this journey. Then when I do stop, it forces me to try to slow down time.
Zagreb was an amazing place at a glance. We left after a very quick two days with not much rest. We were feeling overwhelmed by our new culture. It was great to see our new apartment. It was much smaller than we expected because the pictures didn’t really show the scale of the place. We are still very happy with it. The view is just amazing from the balcony and I can see the stadium from there. I’ll be able to hear games even when I’m not there.
Back to the present…I’m sitting here at the café with a waterfront view. It’s 7:20 am and I’m the only one here. I like it that way. The water here is so beautiful and clear. The color is turquoise. The sound of the breeze and the current is small to none. Not a single whitecap in sight. I’m having a small breakfast by myself, while letting Katie sleep in.
Most summer days back home I wake up before Katie. I usually fetch her an Americano and a pastry at Northtown and Essencia Bakery back in Yakima. It makes me wonder how that’s going to work in Zagreb. That’s the fun part. That’s the mystery. What stones will I look under to find such little pleasures?
It’s been nice having Lucy here in so many ways. Most noticeably because of the “Croatian Stare.” Our last time here in 2009, we got a lot of looks by the locals, mainly because we look different. I was in the main part of Zagreb and we sat by some Americans. We started a conversation and they said how we look like Americans due to the fact that I was a wearing a backwards baseball hat. To my amazement, I looked around the plaza filled with hundreds of people and I was the only one wearing a hat. It makes me wonder how to respond to this, with conformity or originality or a little bit of both? I think the latter because I’m simply a reflection of my culture and environment. But that will change now. Thus bringing up the question, how is this experience going to change me? And how much am I going to let it change me? Will I be hardened or open to the change?
But having Lucy breaks the tension with the locals. They look at Lucy and just smile. They don’t size us up with quick judgment. Don’t get me wrong here; the Croatians have every right to be a little leery of strangers. They were in a war just 20 years ago. During that time, I’m sure it was tough to trust any outsider. Before I arrived, I made it a major point to study the history of Croatia. So when I encounter a stare or misinterpretation I can at least come to the understanding of their past. It will help me be less defensive and more adaptive.
Well I think it’s time to see how Katie is sleeping and give her a nudge to enjoy the nice morning weather and have some breakfast.