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June 26, 2010

Split’s old town is centered around Diocletian’s palace. Besides having a cool name, I think Diocletian was a smart dude for deciding to retire to Split: behind it rise silvery limestone ridges, little mountains, and before it is the Adriatic, and the white ribbon of the Riva promenade. The buildings are close together and you are forever ducking through alleys, but somehow it still feels pretty open and bright, not dark or gloomy or closed in the way, say, Venice could sometimes feel.

Now, all that said, it’s time for the real talk: I am not really getting very cultured or educated whilst here. I mean, yes, I looked at Diocletian’s palace, and wandered into the cathedral, but ultimately, Split is a beach town. And all beach towns share that beach town feeling. And I love beach towns, despite their glut of tacky souvenir shops and overpriced fast food. I’ve been enjoying long days in the sun, swimming in the Adriatic (much more salty than the Atlantic, i think…and I miss the wide sandy beaches and the roaring surf and the sweet smell of the air and the spare beauty of a stand of sea oats on the crest of a dune), and basking in everyone’s collective good mood.

My first day here, I ate lunch at Fife. You don’t get your own table, you sit with other parties at long tables. To my left were two ladies from Split, and to my right was a middle aged American couple from San Francisco. It started out well enough, all of us having a pleasant conversation, until the American lady started complaining about how almost no one in California was white, it was “all minorities,” and how MBA stands for “making babies in America,” and she would know because both of her children earned MBAs. I tried to be diplomatic and change the subject–I brought up the fact that there are not enough qualified US students in math and science, and that foreign students come here to learn but take their expertise home. “We WISH they would take it home,” the lady replied. And the lady from Split was just trying to get a word in edgewise about how lovely her visit to San Diego was.

THEN the American woman said to the Croatian ladies, “And how bout those Serbs? They’re crazy, huh?” AWKWARD. The Croatian ladies graciously deflected this comment, and then the American woman kept on. “Well, every group has some unwanted people in it. You know, the blacks, the Mexicans. And there’s nothing wrong with saying it, I mean, we white people call our unwanted crowd white trash.”

…Look, lady. Insulting poor white people does not absolve you! After she left, I wanted to apologize to the ladies from Split, but thought that might be awkward. I thought people from San Francisco were supposed to be “liberal.” Gross.

Last night I went to a little cafe with a group of Aussie girls. I ordered scampi, and they were BIG AND HUGE and in the shell. I have never eaten lobster, and I felt like a rube. One of the Aussies advised me how best to get the meat out, and it was good. But I still felt like a rube.

I took a few pictures yesterday, but not enough, and now it is cloudy. before I leave tomorrow, I vow to take some pictures. And put them up here. But for now….proof that I am here.

PS. Vuvuzelas have landed here. Some Croatian teens were blowing mightily on their vuvuzelas on the beach the other day. It sounded like a giant blowing his nose. Nobody was amused.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2010 7:23 pm

    I love your bag! You look so pretty!!!!

  2. July 2, 2010 4:12 am

    Hmm… sorry about being trapped in paradise and all

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