Have You Experienced the REAL Croatia? Take the Expat Test

By 19 June 2022

June 19. 2022 - So many foreigners and expats know Zagreb and the coast, but not much more. How well do you know the REAL Croatia? Take the expat test, devised by a foreigner living in Vinkovci for almost 30 years.

A few months ago I attended a rather unique barbecue in eastern Croatia. The occasion was Vukovar Remembrance Day, the location an English pub in a field in the middle of nowhere outside Vinkovci, and the other partygoers foreign veterans from the Homeland War, who had come to pay their respects to fallen comrades at the annual event. It was quite an evening, which you can read about here

I was introduced to a posh Brit who said something rather unusual to me as we clinked out first beer bottles of the night:

"Do you know, I have been coming to Croatia since 1992, and you are the first foreigner I have met here who didn't fight in the war."

Just as he was meeting a new species of expat in Croatia that night, so was I - it was the first time I had met foreigners who HAD fought in the war. 

And so ensued a fascinating night and introduction to a world I knew little about. 

The host for the evening was a Yorkshireman called Steve Gaunt, who volunteered to fight for Croatia, was wounded, and has managed to carve a jolly life in Vinkovci with his lovely local wife and kids, occupying himself with metal detecting, opening his pub, and even making the first cider in Croatia. You can learn more about Steve and the White Boar here, and I really encourage you to look him up if you are in the area. 

Being a dour Yorskireman far from the coast, Steve's life in Croatia is a world away from the majority of expats here, and I have come to appreciate his various musings on life here. 

And then today, this - a Croatian expat test to see how much foreigners here really know the whole of Croatia.

It is a little bit of fun, but also a very insightful list, and I would be curious to see how many long-time residents scored.

I got 19 out of 20, as I am yet to buy Steve a pint, unless drinking in his pub counts. As for the bonus question - Varazdin, Karlovac and Zagreb. 

How did you fare?

I don't whine much on here, but I wondered just how much foreign visitors and ex-pats have really experienced Croatia. I have made up the quiz to test you. You need to have at least 25% YES answers to pass without researching. Ready?

1. Have you visited Croatia and NOT been on the coast?

2. Have you attended a sporting event in Croatia?

3. Have you waited in a bank for more than an hour?

4. Have you bought fish straight off a boat?

5. Have you seen any of these rivers; Danube, Sava, Drava?

6. Have you helped making plum brandy?

7. Have you helped pick grapes or olives? (stealing doesn't count)

8. Do you know what Ožujsko is?

9. Have you helped at a pig killing?

10. Have you seen people scavenging in rubbish bins?

11. Have you eaten carp?

12. Have you been further east than Zagreb?

13. Have you had a parking fine?

14. Have you been to a wedding or a burial in Croatia?

15. Do you know what Rukomet is?

16. Have you been in the home of a Croatian friend?

17. Have you visited at least one of these towns; Ilok, Vukovar, Našice, Koprivnica, Varaždin?

18. Have you ever been stopped by the police?

19. Have you driven in Croatia?

20. Have you ever bought me a beer in Croatia?

Bonus question

21. Have you paid less than 12 kuna for a half litre of beer in a bar in the last year? (where is it!!)