I just wasnt ready to leave yet.
Since I last wrote there have been some unexpected turn of events. I left Split, expecting to stay in Zagreb for only night but I ended up staying for three. I go there early in the morning and when I walked into the hostel (the same one I stayed in before), the model-worthy guy who worked there before was working again. He and I had gotten along really well and I had emailed him that I was coming back, so we went out for coffee (his name is Vieren) and caught up. Such a nice and interesting guy. I hung out in the park all day and read and then met up with him and another guy from the hostel and two girls for drinks that night. It was such a blast. The next day, we were all feeling a bit under the weather and realized none of us were going to be leaving Zagreb that day. Vieren said we should come along for free with him to Plitvice National Park (he was driving some people from the hostel) and after we drop the passengers off, we can go swimming at this little waterfall he knows about nearby. So we all went in the van, really brought me back to my intrepid days, told the passengers what time to meet us and we headed off for a day of swimming and hanging out by a waterfall - it was amazing.
When I got back to the hostel to book another night, it was all full and there were three other people from Switzerland who also didnt have a place to stay. Vierens roomates have just moved out so he had space and told us to come and stay with him so we did. His apartment is great- from the pre soviet days, high ceilings and dark red walls with a beautiful view of the city. He had to work the night shift again so I just watched a movie (he is trying to start a career in film so he LOVES movies and has a great collection) and fell asleep early. The next day he came back and it was so unbearably hot that we all just stayed in, shut the curtains and watched some of the movies that Vieren has made- they were really interesting. He says that he feels trapped in Zagreb because it is really hard to leave Croatia. There arent any jobs to save up, he has a masters degree and still cant find anything, and its hard to get the EU Visa, so a lot of his movies deal with characters who are also feeling that way. The one we watched was about three guys who are trying to go to the seaside and expect it to be a super crazy weekend with girls, the beach and parties. Along the way though, everything that can go wrong, does. Eventually, they never make it out of Zagreb. It was really funny but also an interesting perspective on the realities of Eastern European life. That night, we went out to walk around the city, get ice cream and relax. In the morning, he drove me to the train station and I headed off to Ljubljana, Slovenia.
It was supposed to be Italy. Friday morning, however, I got a text from Virgil that he was stuck in France now until Tuesday or Wednesday and couldnt make it. He told me I could still come and his friends would find me a place to stay but I decided to take the chance to see another part of the former Yugoslavia. I am excited for Italy but I have really fallen in love with this part of Europe, the people are all so amazing and patient and relaxed. Its so hard to leave. So I arrived here yesterday with no place to stay, it was brutally hott out and I was not excited to discover that Slovenia is on the Euro, who knew? I found an internet cafe and was looking through the hostels when one caught my eye. I am now staying in an Communist ex-military prison, its sweet. They still have the bars on the rooms and the names of people who were imprisoned there. The whole outside is covered in grafitti and its a really fun place. I am rooming with three girls who are so nice and I think we will all go out tonight.
My journey is starting to transition from a vacation/holiday to having to begin dealing with school logisitics. I am trying to head to the Netherlands early and they did say I could move into my apartment early but I will have to pay one more months rent which is 420 €. It is about the same as staying in a hostel but I thought I would check out help x to see if there were any hostels that would let me work in return for free accomodation. It turns out there is only one hostel on helpx in the netherlands and its in the Hague. Perfect I thought, it was a day of synchronicities actually because I was at the train station and I needed a pen and, all of the sudden, one just appeared. I emailed them about availabilities and they said ok, thanks for your interest, please fill out this application. Started off as your normal job application until they asked me how I felt about party drugs and McDonalds. Is that a real question? Is this a trick? I dont know how I feel about it. It would be nice to save the money but maybe I could also ask school for my work visa early and then live in the dorm and make real money. I am debating right now about what to do.
For now, I am enjoying my last day in Slovenia. I am meeting two people for lunch that I met at the Umag tournament who are from here which will be great. Tomorrow, I really do head for Venice, I have booked my rooms and everything and hopefully Virgil will be back soon. Good bye meat and bread, hello vegetables and wine!