When I was teaching ballroom dance I had a student in one class who, whenever I taught a new form or step would say with great conviction, “Oh, it’s just like ____.” I would answer, “Well, not really.” This irritated him greatly. He irritated me greatly. While he was looking for ways for disparate things to be like other things, I was seeing subtleties that indicated the difference between one movement and another. I might owe him an apology though I’m glad I’m unlikely to have to actually give it to him.
Being in Rovinj is a little like that situation. I keep finding things that are just like at home – that is – similar, kind of like, familiar – but then comes the not really.
For example – a public bathroom is like a public bathroom – toilets, sinks, hand dryers. But then you find that lights are triggered by movement so the searching one does for a light switch to the side of the door is pointless – walk in the light will come on. Doors to public buildings which at home I manage with an automatic response, here, thwart me. I find myself having to step back, read the sign to see if indeed I’m going in the correct door, or is it the afternoon closing time and perhaps I’ve missed opening hours by 30 minutes. The clerks inside look at me with either pity or confusion. I haven’t yet figured out what it is. There are escalators but brilliant of all – they only run if someone steps on the ramp. Thus they don’t run all the time wasting energy. Why don’t we do that?
We went out for dinner on Thursday – Thanksgiving and walked into a restaurant that we had been eyeing. The tables were set, the lighting inviting, the staff standing around the bar as if ready. Turned out they were set for a private party. We apologized and began to leave when they said they’d be happy to seat us in a different area. The chef came out and said since they were out of season if we told him what we wanted he’d tell us if it was good and if he could accommodate us. Dinner was great. The service lovely. I’m not sure what have happened at home – maybe someone waving at me to say “we’re closed’
We walked to a little local mall today (that’s an entire other story) where there was a coffee shop with a play area for kids. It was a little like the McDonald’s sort of climbing thingies with balls on the floor. This one was about a fifth the size and there was no (gratefully)McFrieis or McMacs. But there was cappuccino, espresso, machaiotto, and assorted liquer shots that one could have in one’s cup. We eschewed the liquer but I’m loving the espresso.
It’s been a month since we left home. About 3 weeks since we’ve been in Rovinj. I’m content to bumble along, writing in the morning, knitting, having coffee. R is being productive, practicing Croatian (for which he is garnering accolades like a scholar) and wending my way through the Konzum, the Kozmo, and Carrera Street the best I can.