Croatian classes began yesterday and I am proud to say I tested out of the very first level, but I think I will have try super hard not to be lazy and actaully study, but its great to be in a classroom again. Most of the people in my class have croatian relatives (parents or grandparents) and so are there on a stipend. Surprisngly a lot of them are from South America. In my class there are two women from Venuzala, a guy from Chile, two girls from Hungry, two people from LA, and a girl from Boston whose husband is from Zagreb.
Again Im sitting in Booksa, thinking about how zagreb is a small city, in many ways similar to Kansas City, big enough to have niches and crowds but small enough to run into people everywhere. I went for a long coffee and walk yesterday evening, accepting some help with my croatian pronouncation, explaining silly bands, and eating my first roasted chestnuts ever, they are absolutly delicious. Walking through the upper-town and peering into apartmwindows and peeking down hillsides makes me dream of settling in a European city and the quite life of small streets and bustling cafes.
Afterwards we headed to an opening, complete with free wine and flashing cameras. Going to an opening put my heart at ease, the familair meandering about, images to digest, no pressure to socialize. Afterwards I had a beer with the other fulbright girls. We sat under an awning as it poured rain, the street super slick and shimmering because its made of cobblestones. We bagan chatting about technology and the economy, and our waiter joined in, giving his two cents. He was 40, just laid off last spring and now working in a cafe (probably making shitty money). He mentioned that in Zagreb sometimes you work for three or four months before you see your first pay check, and that facebook was a waste of time because you could either talk to 100 people at once or go have a drink with a few friends and form real relationships. As one waiter spoke to us of life in Zagreb, the other, much younger waiter dashed across the street with coffees and beers teetering on a silver tray on one hand, the other popping open and closed his red umbrella.