So it’s a little warmer here in Split than the arctic winds that were rushing down my back as I waited for the Dart from Luton Parkway to get me to the asshole at Wizzair check-in.
These budget airlines all seem to revel in jumping out at you from behind a bush, shitting in your mouth and stealing your money. I am good enough at obeying the letter of the law in the face of extreme bullshit that I have avoided parking fines in London for over a decade despite being a very frequent driver. Still I got caught by not checking in online for a flight I only knew I was taking yesterday. I went to check in in person. Apparently if you don’t check in online you have to pay £41 for a “manual check in fee”. This is the biggest pile of shit I have ever heard of and makes me 100% know that, given the choice, I will NEVER TOUCH WIZZAIR AGAIN. And this is despite the fee being on someone else. If I was a multimillionaire I would make it known on social media that I would subsidise people to pay more for another airline until they changed that policy or went bust. Ideally the latter. Or I’d just buy them and sink them. This is a policy that punishes people who haven’t forensically read the terms and conditions. It is by its very nature corrupt. And there is no way that my £41 is going anywhere other than the budget of some ultra rich nightmarehuman with all the empathy of my left testicle. Like some of my schoolfriends from the other night.
But fuck that guy. I’m in Croatia despite him and despite the guy at check-in.
This patch of Adriatic Coast was colonised by the Greeks about 2 millennium before the fall of Troy, so things are pretty embedded here by now. I’m in Trogir, which is considered to be a different town from Split even though it’s ten minutes from the airport. I flew out from London Luton Airport which says it’s a London airport even though it’s actually in Siberia. Different countries have a different sense of what a town is.
I arrived here just as service was shutting down, so I’ve got the key to my room but I immediately walked to the local town to try and snag me a meal. I’m starving after all the bullshit from WizzAir.
Coccola Steak House, lads and gentles (and if that announcement takes on I’m holding this blog for coining it as I just realised it’s my elegant solution to what has previously been “ladies and gentlemen and people of indeterminate gender’. We need an announcement that stops a noisy room. The a of lads is too short, but repeated it can be a useful dinner call. Lads lads lads lads lads. lads. … … lads? … and gentles. Welcome to the Annual Wizzair Check-in Staff Award Ceremony, I’m your MC for the evening…” Might not take on in rooms full of stultified old nonces, but…
But now I’m geeking out about after dinner speaking. Sorry. Get on point, Al. It’s because I’m excited at being back in Croatia. Last time I was in this lovely country they were confused to the point of anger for casting a woman as Hamlet. So it stands to reason they do good steak here. Not nuance but good meat. I had some tonight. Nom. I’m fine without the nuance.
The Hamlet cast catering in 2016 was from an Irish pub in Dubrovnik and often involved the Croatia / Ireland interaction offered by good old Irish offal. James Joyce: “Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.” I have aspects of Leopold despite efforts to the contrary and I know that faint tang and I will happily consume it, ideally with a red wine sauce and rice.
I had my first ever taste of tongue in that Irish pub in Dubrovnik. Not that sort of tongue you pervert. Ox tongue. To eat. Huge slabs of it with no veg whatsoever but some peeled sliced boiled potatoes and a powder gravy. I had been curious. The plate went back three quarters full. Awful offal.
Female Hamlet was vegan so the basic menu options were not causing ructions. Tricky. Messy. But … that was a long time ago.
It was a lovely job in a lovely place just while all the idiots in the UK got together to cut their own fingers off and make all such jobs harder forever in exchange for feeling a little less fragile about who they are NOW immune to the fact that generations shift and idioms shift with them. People can be so so small. But when we were all in Croatia, they counted the Brexit votes and realised too late that the small people had activated while the expansive people had been complacent.
I just had an excellent subtly marinated Argentinian rib-eye, medium rare, with a fine local Croatian red. (How dare you call me a ponce!)
They do good wine here in Croatia which doesn’t get exported to the UK. This meal is on my personal budget, not expenses. It was the only open place and I was hungry and I like nice things. I’m making that clear cos my employer and now mate shared a blog by me yesterday and I sometimes forget that this isn’t a diary and that other humans read it.
My Trogir Palace:
See how similar it is to hotel rooms around the world? This could be Rotterdam or anywhere, Liverpool or Rome. It’s back to the small people. Who is it that first decided that the unimaginative are the right people to listen to when it comes to decor? Yeah, they shout before they know and yeah of course they breed like they’re supposed to and so yeah there are more of them than the colourful. We know this… But we have let their taste lead for so long that its getting grey here. Food and hotels are more and more boring internationally. The same restaurants, the same decor, the same the same. Argentinian or Irish steak. Are there no cows in Croatia?
The right goes on about identity, the left goes on about identity, the weirdies go on about globalism and most of the vocal ones on all sides have hardly ever left home and don’t intend to, have no perspective and really ought to have no voice.
But every one of us risks atrophying. We all have it in us to decide what makes us comfy and what is outside our comfort. We all have it in us to adjust that too. And we all have to be careful.
Let’s all look at things and make our own minds up. Then look at things some more and change our minds again and again. The first time we die is when we entrench in our viewpoint. I’ve met so many temporarily dead people recently, particularly after going to that school reunion. They are thinking, but only with one head. They are mostly dead.
I can happily see all sides of most societal arguments because all sides have a foundation in something. I choose the opinions I hold as paramount. And they are always mutable. Maybe my entrenchment is in the need to be mutable though? I have been an extremist in the past. Those fishfriends reminded me of that. Maybe I will be again..?
But … do we lose everything if everything starts to be the same the same the same? I know I’m in the minority here, but I would be happier if I’d walked into this hotel room to find no TV, wind chimes on the ceiling, a trained lynx taking up half the bed, no air con, and someone called Josip busily teaching ants to dance.
Still, I can see the familiarity and how it is easier to sell. I’m comfy and happy here and I’ll still give 4 or 5 stars if I’m covered in cockroaches and beaten every 5 minutes with birch twigs. Even if I might as well be in Swindon by the decor I’m very grateful to be here and I’m gonna sleep well. Just as soon as I work out how to disarm the fucking Aircon.
Long blog today. Thanks for sticking with me if you did. My brain always goes into overdrive when I start in a new place. If it’s any confort, it’s a sign I’m happy. Enjoy your week.