Five Things a Purger Would Bring Back from Dalmatia

By 28 May 2018

When the summer sun strikes Zagreb, just how does the Purger mindset alter?

If you're from Zagreb, when the first sunny day of the year appears, you'll notice that people start slowly losing their minds. They stop thinking about their jobs, their education, their friends, and their family. They cross the street without looking. They keep reading the same page of the newspaper over and over again, forgetting what they've read. Dogs walk their pensive owners, cats feed their contemplative masters, and everyone becomes lost in their deepest desire – the sea!

Living so close to the Adriatic, and yet so far away, makes every Purger crazy. Every time the words ''It's kinda hot today'' are uttered, half of the people in the room start to plan their summer vacation. ''Can we go tomorrow? I don't feel so good, I need some sea,'' some beg their partners like a child who wants to avoid school. Moaning and planning go hand in hand until we finally go south, leaving the bears and their mountains to enjoy the empty streets of Zagreb until we return, and of course, there are some things we'd like to bring back with us when we return.

1) Olive oil – Real, homemade olive oil has no connections to the one you buy on the market. It's like vodka and water. Sure, they look alike, and they,re in the same bottle, even the name is identical, yet you will get drunk only on vodka. The same thing goes for homemade olive oil. It burns, it's spicy, it makes you cry, and it's intoxicating. It makes everything better, your meat, your fish, your salad, your cheese, your face, your hair, your skin, your blood vessels. I cover myself up with that liquid gold and sunbathe until I look like a bronze God. God, I tell you! Back home, I'd take the whole olive garden, and make oil in my bathtub, so I would never run out of it.

2) Salt – Salt in the hair. Salt on the skin. Salt in the air. Making me look better, making me taste better, and making me breathe better. And that big grain sea salt, looking perfect for your Instagram food bragging, and tasting so crunchy. Salt is salt-of-the-earth product when it comes to sea.

3) Fjaka/polako – I love to take it easy. I adore taking it slow. Some people think this type of mentality is for lazy people, but laziness is just nature's way of creating thinkers. There would be no ''Mediterranian civilization'' without taking it easy, no ancient philosophers without taking it slow. Sun, warmth, and the fertility of the sea allow us to stop constantly fighting for survival. It gives us time to pause, to relax, to think. Add some good wine, and you'll see that evolution favours the ''polako'' mindset. I've tried to introduce this in Zagreb, but they call it ''excuses''.

4) Eternity – Huge mountains, ancient islands, undying winds and the neverending sounds of waves and crickets intertwined. This is how eternity looked before the first homo sapiens came to Dalmatia's shores, and how it will look long after we're gone. Truly, mother nature is beautiful in the north too, equally ancient, but to float in the same sea that Argonauts once travelled on, looking up into the blue sky, your ears below sea level, listening to what the scampi have to say is truly unparalleled. For a moment, it feels like you're there, long ago, swimming with Ulysses, asking him why he's such a bad husband.

5) Tourists – I know you're crowded, and I know it's hard work, but I love tourists. I love how they come from all over the planet to learn a little bit about Sinjska Alka, or Glagolithic script. I love that we live in a world so technologically developed that a kid from Hong Kong can run along the streets of Omiš playing pirates, or that a newlywed couple from Brazil can enjoy the Neretva boat race. I think it's amazing and very important for all of us. Not just for developing tourism and making money, but for us opening up to the world. Little kids knowing foreign languages even before they enter schools. Seniors learning how to use the internet and tourist apps. And most importantly, preserving our culture and art, and creating new parts of it. The sea organs of Zadar being one of my favorite examples. And we need that in Zagreb too. The tourists are coming and we have to get ready. Fountains just aren't enough.