From Croatia with Madness

Why You Should Cut Your Hair Before Visiting Vis (and Other Money Saving Tips)

By 2 July 2016

Make sure you get your hair cut before visiting Komiza this summer, and more essential money-saving tips from Tanja Radmilo in her column, From Croatia with Madness. 

With the the tourist season in Croatia in full swing, we decided to prep you on what not to do unless you want to get heavily ripped off or hurt in other ways:

1. Get your hair cut before you travel, and if you are staying longer, start taking some hormone therapy to stop your hair growth. Apparently, a guy from Norway was reckless enough and decided that his hair was too long, so he decided to visit a hairdresser in the small fishermen's village of Komiža on the Island of Vis. He was charged about 60 EUR for a haircut and a shave. I checked the web page of the salon, on which they boast of affordable prices and promise a great hairdressing experience, and when the owner was asked about it by the local paper Slobodna Dalmacija on July 2,2016, he said that these were the prices, and that the prices were the same for Croats and tourists. Since it is obvious from the invoice that was published in the same paper that his business is not even in the VAT system, my question is how is it possible if this guy has at least two customers coming in every day on average, that he has not entered the VAT system yet?

2. Also, when you want to have a drink or two, pay attention that the venue is far away from religious objects, because when my favourite editor, gentleman and pint lover Mr. Bradbury decided to have a cocoa while waiting for me, he ordered one and was quite shocked when he saw the invoice, particularly since it was in December, so in low- or even out of season. Then I joined him and ordered coffee and was charged about 50% less than the annoying English gentleman. When we confronted the staff about it, they told us that they provide a discount for local people who like to attend religious services at the nearby cathedral So maybe it would be a good idea to brush up on your Croatian and on your prayers as well.

3. If you use local taxis, always ask about the price and ask the taxi driver to turn on his/her GPS device, a device which they all have. Two days ago I was in Zagreb, and I took a taxi to drive me to my publisher, I asked the driver to turn the GPS on, and I saw that the ride from A to B was 2.7 km, and then the phone rang and I was talking, talking, talking and then I noticed that although we came to 0 position on the GPS, the driver just drove further away as if nothing had happened, probably believing that I had not noticed anything. After I finished talking, I told him that I really appreciated that he enjoyed my company so much that he decided to drive me around Zagreb for an additional 3 km which I had no intention of paying for. He started apologizing and blah, blah, blah, but this situation would be much more difficult to get out of if you were a tourist and did not speak Croatian. And there are ways to earn a free taxi ride and get a bonus refund.

4. The safest and best way to change money is in the bank, right? You decide to travel light and to use your cards to get money from ATMs in Croatia, you check the exchange rate on the display of the bank, insert your card and then you see you get a lot less money than you expected. Because you didn' t know about the DCC, dumbhead. DCC is dynamic currency conversion which means that the ATM will give you money in kunas at completely different conversion rate than the one on the display. The truth is it will ask you twice to confirm the exchange but, let's be honest, you just want to get your money out as soon as possible and go and have fun.

5. If you are gay, you will not be in a gay friendly environment.

6. If you are Russian, you will be tretaed like a walking bag of money.

7. If you are a woman, and if you come here to have fun, please be very, very careful that you do not lose sight of your other friends. Unfortunately, every year we have a high number of sexual violence crimes that are very often related to heavy drinking. Always be very careful and make sure that everybody knows where you are. Do not trust taxi drivers, the crew on the boat or anyone else!

We love you, we want you to feel good and safe here, so if you get ripped off or are not treated fairly, write to us and we will continue to publish such articles and publicly shame those who behave in such indecent ways.