100 Days in Croatia - Week 4 + 5 - Efficiency and Luck

Published on:
July 17, 2023
Iva Sladic Keco

As the days flow by Croatia feels both like a warm embrace from an old friend and a distant memory from a different life. Living abroad has undoubtedly altered my perspective, and my experience in China has raised my expectations. Especially for efficiency and quick problem-solving. Here in Croatia, things operate on a more casual and laid-back rhythm, often described by the local sayings "Lako cemo" and "Rijesit ce se"—translating to "We will do it easily" and "It will be solved." But, beware, for these phrases are often a precursor to long and winding processes with little to no actual progress.

The journey of renovation has led me to navigate the treacherous terrain of the construction industry. A demand that seems to know no end collides with an incredibly limited supply of skilled workers. Oh, how elusive it is to find someone reliable and proficient in their craft. The search for builders, plumbers, electricians, and carpenters often resembles a quest worthy of epic tales.

But luck was on my side this time. Just six days ago, my mom and I left the green north to the dry south. It has been a difficult trip for her but she made it. Road was very busy and I never seen so many tourist in the resting areas on the highway.

We arrived to Little Red House, another Croatian home. Its renovation had been set in motion back in 2018, but unforeseen obstacles with contractors and the arrival of a pandemic halted our progress.

In last six whirlwind days, we mustered a remarkable feat. The once dormant yard bloomed with a fresh pavement, kitchen appliances found their places, bathrooms took shape, room doors swung open, and countless other finishing touches were done. Though more work lay ahead, the house is now functional. It is a triumph—a reason why the blog remained silent the previous week.

Ah, this enchanting place holds a special corner of my heart, nestled in my late father's native village. Here, everyone bears the same surname, and a mere thirty or so souls inhabit this village bordering the Krka National Park in Central Dalmatia. It is a location that encapsulates the essence of the Mediterranean—where the constant chirping of crickets serenades the soul, the air carries the scents of sage and immortelle, the sun is scorching, and the early crisp mornings is the only time when people can do work in the fields. Time seems to adopt a gentler pace here, in sync with the rhythms of nature. And what better way to savor this Mediterranean idyll than with a glass of excellent wine in hand from Ante Sladic Vino?

When I am here memories of carefree childhood summers intertwine with the shadows of harrowing wartime days, when the village was engulfed in flames and occupied for six long years. Yet, this house also bore witness to moments of joy and hope. It was where my partner and I exchanged vows, and it become my creativity outlet when I became it’s custodian.

I dream of turning it into a place of storytelling and connection. An intimate space where family heritage intertwines with the tales of wanderers from afar. A place where friendships become stronger, and strangers become friends over excellent world class vine. Where tales are spun and woven into the fabric of the house's history. Where people come to rest, take a break, reconnect to their bodies and souls.

It hasn't been a smooth journey—far from it. The past few years have been filled with bumps and hurdles. But, gradually, the pieces are falling into place, and hope is kindling anew after this week. I celebrated with a swim in the pristine Krka river.

Would you like to come next year?

Now, I'm off again. Leaving mom behind and driving alone to my bellowed home town Rijeka. North again, but coast this time. I'm eager to reunite with my loved ones after a week apart and start our week long adventure in North Italy.

Stay tuned for more updates from Venice, Padova, and beyond. As a parting note, if you find yourself in need of assistance with installing a shower cabin, kitchen appliances, or door frames, fear not—I've become quite the handywoman in my renovation endeavors.

Thank you for journeying with me, dear readers, let's revel in the magic of luck.

Let's talk!

Wherever you are in the world, I can find time for you. Hong Kong timezone is world friendly.

If you want to chat about collaboration, facilitation, entrepreneurship...press the button bellow and make it happen.

I will be happy to chat with you while enjoying our favourite beverage.

Schedule a chat!