Dr. Laganini, or How I Stopped Worrying & Embraced the Rhythm

By 9 March 2023

March 9, 2023 - Laganini, the chilled Croatian way. Check it out through the eyes of our latest TCN correspondent, Pedro Premuz, a Croatian returnee from Argentina. Welcome, Number 187! If you would like to write for TCN about the Croatia where you are, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Writing.

It's May, some random Tuesday before 10:00 am. I walk past construction workers on my way to a kafić (coffee shop), and I daringly peek inside the building they are working on. Except they are not fixing it now, they are already having their first break, which could be their second. beer in hand and a sandwich with what I imagine is home-produced meat, as is the tradition here. Most people have their own orchard or make their own charcuterie. I mutter to myself the newly-understood phrase... "Laganini" (To take it easy). Time is all we have, I say to myself as I go and take a second break and a third coffee.

It takes a while, but eventually you get used to this rhythm of life and calmness, people are not used to yelling or complaining. Maybe, you’ll get to disappoint them should you cross a red light, but that's it.

You will see a lot of people (I'm no expert but I have no doubts we’re talking about 85% of the population) drinking alcohol daily, but the only drunk people you'll ever see are non-Balkan tourists, because cheap (and tasty) alcohol drives them crazy.

Croatians love to contemplate the universe in silence. They take their job very seriously. They must do one thing: “I have to do nothing and I must be good at it”. They actively embrace the nothingness of sitting outside, plain vibing without any guilt or remorse.

Back at home, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I used to take the train to work, and I had more than an hour, door to door. Daily, regular commute. It just felt normal to travel more than an hour just to go to work. Now, if something takes more than 50 minutes, I have to think about it 4 times before making up my mind, and it may take me the whole day to travel that far. Let me clarify: Let's say you take a tram combination, 20 minutes each, and you need to be at your destination at, say, 2:30pm.

With the life I'm living at the moment, I would probably leave home at around 12:00, take the first tram, get off at the correct station to wait for the second one, but, alas! The thirst.

It's time for that break: Coffee and a glass of water. Similar to any construction worker break. I take out a book from my backpack and spend 45 minutes reading, contemplating life for a while, and by the time I continue the second half of my journey, ready and well-rested, I already forgot whatever I was aiming to do at my place of destination.

I guess what I have been deciphering so far about Croatia as a whole is that we are still a village in most aspects. And we love it just that way, thanks for asking. So, if you read this and you feel like enjoying time passing through, you can visit, or don't, we’ll be here watching time pass, anyway.

Tagged under: laganini