By Drazen Remikovic
I decided to go on a vacation, in a strange period, mid October, when people still summarizing the value of summer winds, and just starting to create a clearer picture of where will they be o a new years eve
I thought it will be a good thing for my soul to travel a little, because I think that I wanted it to go somewhere, and when you have those two things in line – the best thing that you can do for yourself is to take that recommendation.
I visited an old friend of mine in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the city which is on the Western top of the Balkan peninsula (or ex Yugoslavia, as you wish). The wind was blowing here occasionally, and the autumn spread its bordo-red and yellow color everywhere.
My host was very friendly and nice, as always. She made breakfast, acted a guide, suffered me for days, and she always smiled. Generally, people do not smile a lot these days, mostly because of the lack of money, and it’s the same situation here. The writer of these lines is in the similar situation, he actually borrowed the money to get to Ljubljana, the money which he needs to return (still do not know how).
But people here are polite to strangers, they want to offer their help no matter who you are and what are you doing there, and I needed that because my host was working most of the days in the afternoon and I was on my own then.
Even though our languages are similar since I am coming from the south of once the same country, I could not understand theirs every word (maybe 50 %). They wanted to talk with me on my own language, but only those who are older than 30, since the younger generations don not know how to speak once common language properly. Well, sometimes when I talked with someone in the store, shop, café, they kept talking theirs language, even though they are aware that I am not Slovenian. It’s a strange thing, that language barrier. It probably looked strange to some third person seeing me and a waiter constructing some new, mid-language just to order a coffee, but it is totally OK because the timing of my vacation was also strange.
I liked the flowers which was hanging out from the walls, all in line, all the same but again all quite beautiful and alive. Big central market with all its spices, next to it – a food colorful festival.
Architecture. Solid and kept. Like the one in Gradec, where Christmas trees are hanging upward down from the roofs of 2/3 floor high buildings with big entrance doors and wide windows.
I lost myself a couple of times between the narrow side streets, but the old town and big church towers saved me without any problems, like some city’s compass. All is close and you can get anywhere in 15 minutes.
A lot of strangers walking down the streets. Bicycles are everywhere. City authorities are thinking to forbid in the city’s center. They should not do that. It is pretty when you see an old grandma with a big bag from the market, riding a bike next to her granddaughter’s tricycle which is pulled by the dog.
Its cheap. But money is an eatable category so…do not carry away too much, because, as my best friend used to say “If we have a bank, we would probably spend it”.
There are no brutality uniforms with which the southern cities are full of, so it’s a free city, at least on the first couple of sights. I drank a lot, that’s why I used to write a diary in order not to forget what happened to me and the people that I met the previous day. Black holes in the head can not do much against writing. Travarica that I drank in Ljubljana was quite soft, but with hard smell of some nice wild plants, it smoothly slid down the throat.
I haven’t eaten so much Slovenian food, but I tried the wild boar salami with some homemade sauce, as a refection. And it was fantastic, spicy and greasy, as it should be.
Nightlife is very good, the city is full of energy, especially during the weekend. If you ever come in Ljubljana, ask your people to take you to Metelkova street, city’s special district where you can party a lot. Where you can change ten clubs for one night. Where you can hear 24 different bands and DJ’s for only 24 hours. Where you can listen to poetry and to laugh out loud. The supreme moment is actually happening between the clubs, area which is crowded with people. That place is Ljubljana’s culmination of art, youth and freedom. Inspection is breaking Metelkova’s balls recently, that is something that I heard from the guy whose name is Samo (“Only”). Well, I have ONLY one word for inspection: RAUS.
A friend of mine with which I walked down the city suggested that we should drink water from the city’s pipe in Congress park, which was full of young people, who were practicing the youngsters usual disciplines – kissing, drinking, singing, dancing, taking pictures. Our throats was dry because of the walking and talking, I approached to the pipe first. Then I remembered the same situation when I was in Sarajevo. I told a friend of mine a myth for Sarajevo’s public pipe – “The one who drink the water from this pipe once – he will always come back to Sarajevo”. I am not sure why the Ljubljana’s pipe reminded me on the pipe in front of Bey’s Mosque in Bascarsija. Maybe because I like my memories. Maybe because my soul is a little lighter now. Maybe it was just me who wanted that this pipe has the same or some similar legend like the one in Sarajevo. Maybe there is something nice in those waters.
One thing is for sure. I will definitely come back to Ljubljana. ASAP.