I kind of knew it was going to happen. I just didn’t know how awesome it would be. I have landed in Hvar, vacation spot of, well, a lot of moneyed white people. Even though I knew it, I also didn’t know how weird it would be, to land in this spot with so many Americans (and Brits, and Germans) after a couple of weeks of not seeing too many Americans (though I saw a lot of Germans and Brits.)
When I was up in Rovinj, there were two things that almost every single person I talked with said to me. The first was, when I said I did not want to leave, was “yes, everyone says that.” The other, when I told people where I was from was, “Oh, there was another couple from California here yesterday.” I think that couple preceded me just about every place I went. Other than that we were the minority.
Not here. I am not saying it is bad, to have all these Americans around. It is just that sometimes I just wish I didn’t understand what they were saying. It takes a lot to make me cringe, but here… I have cringed, watching my fellow countrymen carry on. Here’s a tidbit from a conversation I was forced to eavesdrop on, today at lunch at a really wonderful restaurant – full of Americans except one guy, who was the one on the other end of the conversation.
Gay guy (I think) of possibly Croatian nationality: so you would not go back to the states? Why?
American girl: I don’t like the lifestyle… I don’t like the attitude. I don’t like the… (long pause) working.
GGCN: So, you don’t like working?
Non-working AG: They only let you have one week off a year! (Not in my world, honey.)
GGCN: How many days off per week?
GGCN: So its the same then. We work six days a week.
NWAG: (Is totally silent. Bored. Over it.)
Later, when they got the check, GGCN said “Ok it is 170 kuna.” NWAG: “So how much do I owe?” GGCN: “Um, 85 kuna.” NWAG: “Really? I owe that much?” (We are talking about fourteen dollars for lunch with wine.) She took about 10 minutes to count out every kuna. I wanted to throttle her.
Anyway. Despite listening to this… I enjoyed my lunch immensely, looking out over this:
I just wished I had my ipod.
Now that I have pointed out the, er, annoying points of Hvar (and I did not tell you about the guy screaming into his IPad for an hour at a gorgeous rooftop bar yesterday, I will spare you that) lets get to the good stuff.
It is so. beautiful. here. Yesterday, it was a long journey (bus, taxi, ferry, long walk with too much luggage in the heat) and I was exhausted but managed to get out and get groceries, then went down to the town for a drink at a rooftop bar then a truly stellar dinner at a place called Dalmatino. At dinner last night I talked with the young server’s assistant (busboy, I guess) and he told me he comes from a little town outside Split but works in Hvar for the season – six days a week, for more hours than not per day. But he has fun. No wonder… a young, good looking guy like that and all these drunk chicks walking the streets every night… well. But the men here seem gentlemanly and also, maybe not so interested in the day. At night? Who knows.
Waking up today I was STILL exhausted. I don’t know if it is the heat, or getting old or what but I just can’t handle those long-ass transit days like I used to. I walked around Hvar Town (which is NOT big) just feeling like I couldn’t even cope with sitting next to another person in a cafe, or even ordering. But, my savior, white wine, came to the rescue. What is it about that stuff? I went into a place my landlord told me about, where the guy makes his own wine – a teensy little winery on the way up to the top of the town. He poured me a glass of his homemade wine (only 8 kuna!) and it was like that V-8 commercial where the person is walking sideways until they have the V-8. That was totally me today. Who needs a pharmacy? Just get me to thee winery, molim vas.
Once restored, I had the energy to walk to, uh, the other part of Hvar Town. The decidedly more upscale part. Don’t get me wrong, I love my digs on the other side of the tracks, where I get a whole giant apartment with a sea-view balcony for 50 euros per night. But I foresee a daily walk across Hvar Town to the other side where there are a bunch of truly killer spots to drink a cocktail or rent a lounger or eat a salad right on the rocks.
I loved, loved, loved, loved, LOVED this:
It’s a little Venetian cottage by the sea, and you can RENT it. It was all kinds of fabulous times infinity, on the outside. I don’t care if it has a cot to sleep on inside, I WANT IT.
I kept going and passed by some high falutin cocktail lounges, just off the path, and a Las Vegasy hotel called the Hotel Amphora.
Don’t ask me why, but when I see stuff that reminds me of Las Vegas it makes me want to go have a drink at a bar, one that you can sit down at. And though this place was indeed, kind of fabulous I had another place on my mind. Another 200 meters to the Hula Hula bar, that my landlord told me about. And there it was. You can rent loungers on the rocks, and they will bring you cocktails in plastic cups. Or you can sit at the bar, complete with disco ball and bartender that looks vaguely like a bald Adam Sandler.
I nursed my glass of wine (only 24 kuna!) for a long time. I loved this place. What’s not to like?
All day I walked, and all day the wind blew, a warm wind. A lovely wind. There are the people who come here and the people who live here, and maybe after a couple more days I’ll sort of get how it all works, between the islanders, and the people who come and drink and get sunburnt and eat fish and go on scuba diving excursions. To me, this wind is kind of like a paradise wind, one that can be whatever kind of wind you want. I can’t imagine one with money couldn’t get anything they wanted here. Drugs, sex, champagne enemas. For me, I just want that little Venetian cottage and that wind and a daily drink at the Hula Bar. Oh, and maybe I should not forget the IPod.
There is a lot more to see on this island besides the bars and the loungers. My landlord wants to make sure I get on the bus and see more, the real part, not the rich people part. And I will. I would not be happy with myself if I let the rich white chick in me (joke) take over.
So, I’ll breathe in that wind and on that note, check out this sunset from my balcony…
Yes, I love it here.