Saturday, September 29, 2001

Hey dudes, I'm in Zagreb, the sun is shining, the girls are hyper-attractive and wearing little. And most of you are stuck in the North of Scotland. Bad lack guys.

Yeah, sunny sunny Zagreb has quite taken me by surprise. It had never been part of our itinery before the chance meeting with the Croat girls, but I'm extremely glad I came. It's probably the best city we've been to so far. Busy but relaxed, and with a very European feel to it. And apart from the megagrumps of the people at the reception of our hostel (to quote a couple of their comments, "You know, I just don't care" and "You know the rules". Pricks) everyone is really friendly and pleasant, and with good English. And then you've got the Zagreb girls, oh yeah...

Ok, so we arrived in Zagreb yesterday afternoon after a long but not wholly uncomfortable bus journey. The previous night had been spent having a few drinks with yet more Australians and New Zealanders. I swear, the people from these countries are nomadic. You'd think we'd have bumped into a few Afghan refugees by now, as they make a mass exodus from America's new big enemy, but it's just Australian and New Zealanders everywhere. Fleeing from the obvious horror that is their country.

We found our hostel (crap but cheap) fairly quickly, and took a wander round the very pretty city. Of course, prettiness does not make a city (little Ljubljana was very pretty but after a couple of hours, very boring) but Zagreb had that tangible sense of purpose that a capital city should have. And attractive women. And even better, it had a tower on a hill that you could climb to the top of. Oh yeah. Any city that has a tower I can climb gets good marks with me. Towers were built for a reason - for me to climb. We caught it at sunset too, and it would have been really romantic, watching the sun melt into the hills beyond the city, but I was with stinking sweating Simon wearing his big plastic yellow beetle sunglasses, and that sort of kills romance.

We'd tried to get in contact with Nina a couple of times, to go out with her and the rest (Josipa, Jack and Nick) but they were out, so me and Simon ate at a pleasant little outside restaurant, with a very polite waiter, and returned back to the hostel where we finally got hold of Nina and agreed to meet in the big square with the big statue of a dude on a horse, at about 11pm.

So, we duly showed up, and to our slight surprise Moritz showed up - the German guy at the Pula hostel. We'd known he was in Zagreb, but didn't think he was going to contact Nina. With him he brought two Croatians - a girl he'd met over the internet called Eva, and some guy called Luca. The American guys and Croatian girls showed up soon after and the drinking commenced.

Well, it commenced after a bit of a trawl about town with no-one quite knowing where they were going, but we eventually settled in a pub with good priced pivo and everyone relaxed and talked for ages. A plan was formulated by the Zagreb residents to go to some club that was apparently free before 1am, but for it to be free you had to show some leaflet or something, and the only people with leaflets were some friends of Eva who only showed up at the pub after 1am. Still, the price was a reasonable enough 30kn (about 2 pounds 50) and we all headed in.

The music was awful, I must state this first of all, so any dancing that occurred later on in the evening should try and be forgotten by all present. Man, you haven't lived until you've seen the Big Nev bodypop. Nah, I controlled my movements (this was no Kia-Aura) and made extra careful to keep Simon out of sight. Every time I see Simon "bop" I'm haunted for days after. Simon may be talented at many things, but he was not born to dance. Upon dancing he immediately becomes a middle-aged man at the disco. Not that I'm claiming to be world class either, but fortunately any dancing by me is in a state of extreme inebritation so I never quite remember.

I didn't really dance much anyway. I got a seat and chatted up Croatian birds. Or Mortiz. No, well wasn't chatting up Moritz. I mean, he's got long hair but he's a bloke and he's German. I just talked for ages to anyone who was around, enjoying getting drink bought for me because I'd bought a large round earlier in the evening. Some random bird called Alica got the Big Nev chat, and would surely have succumbed to my charms had her friends not all whisked her away. She'd lived in Britain for three months - in Colchester of all places. Chatting up Croatian girls simply involves talking about them nicking the Bosnian coastline (which they seem rather proud of) and saying how great Goran Ivanisevic is. Which the man is.

Our whole group were cool actually. We've totally landed on our feet wherever we go, and meet really cool people. The slow-drawling American guys, the cool Croatian chicks, the gregarious German guy. At some stage Jack, Nick, Josipa and Nina left because they had to be up for 7.30am that day for some day-trip. Moritz, Eva and Luca disappeared soon after too (the last memory I have of Eva was of her falling down some steps). Which left us with the three friends of Eva's - Bozica, Maria and I didn't catch the third's name. They'd seemed a bit distant the whole evening, but with the others out of the way, we got talking to them and they turned out to be cool. Bozica especially, who I got on pretty well with. All mighty attractive too. I think there must be some law in Croatia forcing ugly birds indoors and out of view from foreigners.

So, unable to resist the Big Nev charms, I now have Bozica's phonenumber so should hopefully be aligning myself for a hot date tonight. Mind you, I won't speak too soon, she'll probably tell me to piss off. Or... oh damn, what was the word? She was teaching me how to swear in Croatian but I've forgotten what it was. I mean, I don't ever swear in English, but swearing in Croatian seems a little classier.

That's the situation then. We're spending a couple more days in Zagreb anyway because it's a great place and will hopefully team up with the Ameri-Croat group again. And I've my hot date tonight (maybe...) so everything's cool.

And I saw an amazing mullet near the train station today.

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