When I Think Of Croatia

I think of sea. A peaceful summer morning before people crawl out of their beds. Sound of seagulls in the distance blending in with fade fog raising above the glass-like surface. Early rays of woken-up sun, reminding you it’s gonna be a hot day.

I remember early mornings, lugging sand with my dad, on a small cart, along a narrow, curvy path from far away parking lot, that was the closest place a truck could deliver it, to build a concrete deck so we wouldn’t have to sit in the dirt. That transitioned into being a house and took 12 full summers to build.

And a bumblebee, always passing by just around our second round. He would go his usual round circling the flowers in the same order and then land on my arm. He would stick around long enough to say “Hi!” and “What’s up, my favorite giant?”, and move along to the next patch of flowers.

“It’s all but a memory, never to be repeated again.”, I realize as I sit in our modern, Markham, Ontario, apartment, equipped with gadgets I built to (semi-)automate it. Life is now startups, Fortune 500s, electric cars, Mars shots, and building cool things out of nothing.

Croatia was never the things I remember about it. I’m in touch with everyone who wanted to stay in touch with me. It’s not always easy, but we make it work.

I remember pushing through the bushes with my brother and another friend. “Let’s get to the other side of the island in the straightest line possible”, I said, “it may took as a day but it’s gonna be super interesting”. Around lunchtime, we found ourselves on the top of the island, with a bird-eye view of a tourist-filled sandy beach. Boats floating in mid-air like dreamland, only anchors holding them down from escaping the earth. Standing on a patch of rocks, in the sea of thick green bushes, holding a piece of bread, pancetta and tomato, having lunch with a view.

This year seems exceptionally hard. Everybody, and their brother, is visiting Croatia. I’d like to think we did a great job promoting it. They ask me for tips. “How do I get most of my trip?” “Where should I visit?” “What is ______ like?”
And I answer them, provide them insights, help them have a fun, enjoyable trip and a great vacation. All the while knowing they are missing the point. They are visiting places I’ve never been to, eating food in restaurants I wasn’t able to afford. Croatia is party with a view.

It’s a figment of my imagination, the .1% time, serenity within insanity, never to repeat again, but possible to imitate. Maybe.

So if you visit Croatia this summer, go on a walk before the sun comes up and humans crawl out, along the rocky shore where no-one usually goes, after a non-drunk night, and wait for the sunrise. Look at the glass-like sea. See the mist raising close to the surface. Hear the seagulls in the distance and crickets on the top of the hill. Get drunk on Croatia I remember. And tell me I’m crazy.

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