Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sa Nogom

The sun is shining in Zagreb and the cafe's outdoor seating fills the wide sidewalks in the city center. I went with another fulbrighter yesterday to look at an apartment. A friend of a friend picked us up in a car and we drove, into the center, out of the center, across the river, the end of the trams... we both knew already the apartment was too far away. Helena was sweet though, making conversation with Amela in croatian, me straining my ears to pick up familiar words. The landlord was running late so Helena treated us to coffee (cup #2 for the day). There were two cafes in the neighborhood we were in, the first we peaked our heads into, only older men sitting and smoking and chatting, their eyes peering in our direction. Helena says, "come on, lets go to the other one." I haven't quite figured out this particular cafe rule yet. Sometimes outside of the center the cafe's will be predominantly men. Helena didn't make any comment about just shrugged her eyebrows. We drank coffee "sa nogom" (i might be spelling that wrong) which means "on your feet,"meaning... really fast. Sit, drink, pay, leave. The typical coffee date is longer, meant for sipping and chatting. We looked at the apartment--at this point without any legitimate interest, but there was enough to be curios about, such as the lanky man showing u the apartment in worn coveralls and a bike racing hat. he reminded me of an illustration of a service man. We headed into the center, opting for slodoled (ice cream) over another cup of coffee, heading to millennium, where behind glass cases stand mountains of ice cream, including 100% pistachio. I only ate one scoop because I had dinner plans with Orli, my beloved prof from my SIT program.

After delicious gnocchi, long conversation, and a third cup of coffee I headed back to the dorms with a full stomach and more confidence in why and what I am doing in this city. "Don't apologize for who you are, or your research, or your identity," Orli told me as we sat drinking coffee... "you are going to have to learn how not to be apologetic, have confidence."


Jun said...

mmmm pistachio.

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Sarah said...

Emily, you are making me itch to go back! I miss you so much already. When can we skype?