So, I found out currywurst is a thing here in Berlin. Maybe in the rest of Germany too but that’s too extreme of a guess for me to make. Anyway, I decided to try it since I am unofficially eating my way around the world.
I feel I should preface my reaction to currywurst by saying sausage isn’t really my thing. Even cut up into bits and covered in what I will assume is a curry type sauce. This, I think, is a fairly safe assumption. When I saw the signs for it, I basically asked the universe why? Out loud and frequently since I kept seeing stands advertising currywurst like it’s actually a thing people regularly buy. And maybe even enjoy.
At Berlin gay pride, I was feeling good. The sun was all shiny. And I had euros. The food cart lines were long and everyone seemed to be in the process of stuffing a sausage in their faces (bratwurst), about to get a sausage from an approved supplier, or was eating French fries. So I decided then and there to try this chopped sausage. With fries.
It was actually really good. I couldn’t begin to identify any known version of curry as being part of the sauce, necessarily per se. But I don’t know everything about curry so… Anyway, the currywurst was good, the fries were delish, and a good time was had by all my taste buds. Overall, an A+ situation until my body, immediately after the last bite, decided it needed to get rid of the sausage. But not from the front end.
So, we’re on an 8-day Croatian island tour. How we even arrived here is an adventure in itself and a tale for another time. But today, just a few hours ago, the boat stops in a scenic grotto with crystal waters where it’s shallow and a deep jewel toned blue where it’s not. Sounds beautiful, right?At breakfast, we were told we’d stop in the early afternoon/late morning and have two hours of swimming time after a three-hour sail among the scattering of Dalmatian Islands.
So the boat stops. People jump in. Splashing. Laughing. Good times. Angela was resting in the cabin so I go to tell her it’s swimming time and go pull on my swimsuit.
Fast forward 15 minutes. I jump into the water. Refreshing. Glorious. A few hundred yards in front of our boat is a naked family on their baby-yacht – hot mom, dad, and a child of undetermined (by me) gender. A dirty old man on our boat is watching hot mom through binoculars while everyone else is either in the water or getting ready to get in the water or sunning themselves on deck.
I swim around a bit then head toward shore a decent distance away.
Fast forward five minutes. Angela jumps in the water from our boat. She swims out to me and we chat. Her back is to our boat. She’s screwing up her face at the disgusting feel of the sand/silt/seaweed combination squishing between our toes under the water. I’m enjoying the sun, the cool water, plus occasional sightings of naked hot mom. Then:
“Hey,” I say to Angela. “They’re pulling up the swim ladder on our boat.”
She turns. “What?!” Without waiting another second, she swims toward our boat, calling out. “Wait!”
The anchor is still down, though, so I’m not worried. But Angela’s already swum about twelve feet of water in 0.02 seconds in the direction of the boat. She’s a pretty good swimmer. She’s swimming like crazy and calling out, “Wait! Wait!”
After about twenty seconds, they drop a (another?) swim ladder in the water.
I think: “Oh, they were just changing out the ladders.” I laugh and call out my theory to Angela.
She ignores me and keeps swimming for the boat, but I already reassured myself so I go back to floating on my back and enjoying the various sweet things going on – weather, water, hot mom. Angela gets to the boat in a few minutes, maybe even seconds, and calls out to me, very calmly: “Get over here.”
I swim toward the boat. Slowly. Not to be an ass (although I thought she was being a drama queen with all that “wait, wait” business) but because I’m a super slow swimmer. Plus no one on the boat looks urgent about anything. The Germans are drinking beer and laughing. The water doesn’t look like it’s being churned up by a rabid shark. So, slow.
Fast forward ten minutes. I get on the boat. Angela’s drying her face with her sarong. She looks perturbed.
“They’re leaving,” she says. I stare at her. “They were leaving without us,” she says, because I apparently didn’t get it.
Everyone is on board, drinking beers and looking over the water, checking out hot mom and maybe even super-naked dad, who is definitely not hot. But that’s only my opinion. As I walk past the group of mostly Germans to get my sarong and wipe my incredibly disbelieving face, a creepy guy (not the one with the binoculars) mumbles something to me in Germglish. I pretend not to hear. I don’t have to pretend not to understand.
The ladder rattles against the side of the boat as Papa Captain pulls it up again (there is only one ladder, Angela tells me later). The boat starts up. We immediately set off for another, not-so-nearby island. As we pull away, I look at the naked family still chillin’ on their baby yacht. Ever the optimist, I think: Maybe they’d have given us a ride back to Split if we’d asked nicely. Being naked seems a small enough price to pay for rescue.
I’m more than a little in love with Simona. For the last couple of mornings, she’s made me white coffee and stuffed me full until I’m nearly bursting. Those of you who know me already know where I’m going with this.
Simona works at the bakery across from the Airbnb where my travel partner and I stayed in Zadar Center. She’s the absolute loveliest thing. Each morning, it’s a smile and a greeting, asking where we’re heading off to next, suggesting new things for us to try, even giving us parting pastry gifts on the last morning. This woman – and her two colleagues at the bakery – isn’t remarkable just because she consistently fed my carb and coffee addiction for three days straight. She’s fantastic because in a place where having satisfied customers seems like a foreign and unwelcome concept, her customer service is A+. Every morning and afternoon I’ve seen her, she greets the patrons with a smile and hello. She was never rude, impatient, or dismissive and always seemed glad to see us coming back to spend our money. There may have been other bakeries in Zadar, but because Simona was so thoroughly charming, perfect even, I never gave them a thought.
Between Simona, the Sea Organ art installation, and Plitvice Lakes, visiting Zadar has been a golden experience.
I’ve been keeping secrets. I know. I’ve been bad. Already, I’m over two weeks into my annual summer trip. The plan for now is NYC, Venice, Croatia, and Amsterdam. New York and Venice have already been experienced and savored, and now I’m in Croatia.
My reason for the late posting, a hiding from the world and all the seemingly endless cruelties humans inflict on each other. It’s been difficult, but the rest of us are still here. Still living our lives. Still proud.
With the next few posts, I’ll try to play catch-up. In the meantime, check out a couple of the photos.