Croatian colors…

We slept really well last night after enjoying the fireplace all evening. I ended up turning on The Crown, which I’ve already seen in its entirety. Bill hasn’t seen all of it, and it’s a very entertaining series. Makes me glad I didn’t cancel Netflix.

I was hoping to visit the lakes today, but you have to buy tickets a day in advance. So Bill ordered the tickets. Then I learned about Krka National Park, which is about 90 minutes away by car. Unfortunately, the tickets for that park were sold out for Sunday. I guess we have a reason to come back for another visit!

We ended up having a really nice lunch at a local restaurant– fresh trout for me and pork skewers for Bill. Then we took a drive and I got some photos of the magnificent fall foliage. The trees are in full autumn glory right now. As long as the weather is good tomorrow, I think we will have a great visit. And since the Krka Park is sold out on Sunday, maybe we’ll visit the Plitvice Lakes again on Sunday. The caretaker of our accommodations says that two days is a good idea. I believe him, since there are so many lakes to see.

Speaking of the caretaker. He and his wife of 56 years live across the lane and have been there since 1968. Bill went over to ask about firewood and ended up being invited to drink brandy. Bill called me, and I went over and joined them. We visited for awhile, drinking homemade plum brandy and Turkish coffee. We also had cookies.

The guy used to be a pilot for the Yugoslavian Army… or whatever branch flew planes. He said he’s been all over the place. Bill, of course, bonded with him over the military. We talked about our travels and our families… all of it done in halting English and a smattering of German and Croatian. It was really nice… I love it when we have authentic travel experiences and bond with locals when we travel. Somehow, we always manage to meet people when we go places… and oftentimes, I end up with a story to tell or write. I also enjoy talking to elderly people. They always have amazing stories to share.

After our visit, the caretaker’s wife came over and got us some more wood. Then she built a huge fire for us!

I’m already looking forward to writing the travel blog for this trip. I may have to start before we go home, since this is a long journey. I have noticed this area is loaded with vacation homes and apartments, as well as hotels and restaurants But right now, a lot of things are closed, including a lot of restaurants. There are caves nearby that I wouldn’t mind visiting, but I think they will close for the season on November 1. I’ll bet in the spring and summer, this area is full of tourists.

Makes me glad we came in late October… it’s a lot quieter right now. I also wish I was a lot thinner. Maybe I’d go on one of the riding excursions and relive my adolescence. Ah hell, I wish I was a lot thinner just because… but I also would love to ride a horse again. I probably could, but I have too much empathy for the poor horse. Anyway, I guess I just want to say that I recommend Croatia in the fall. Especially, if your holiday digs have a fireplace and firewood.

funny stories, Germany, humor


Yesterday, the weather was predictably nasty. Bill decided to take the dogs for a quick walk before the rain started in earnest. As he was walking along the main drag, Arran decided to drop a load. Bill was stooped over picking up the mess when a “scraggly” looking guy passed. Just as Bill finished cleaning up the poop, Arran took a couple of steps and cocked his leg on a cement pillar that formed part of an archway.

The scraggly guy turned and said, in German, that letting the dogs pee on structures isn’t a good thing to do. Bill said, “Ja, ja.” and went on about his day. Then he came back home and stewed about the encounter for awhile. Bill is unusually conscientious and takes public rebukes to heart. I could tell he was upset about that confrontation. I can’t blame him for that. I hate it when random people speak to me, particularly when they really need to fuck off and mind their own business.

For some reason, it seems like Bill runs into people like this more than I do. So I told him I thought he should develop R.B.F.

You know what that is, right?

I posted about it on Facebook, and my friend Meryl wrote, “Huh?”

Resting Bitch Face. I think Bill should develop one.

One of my other longtime friends who, I guess, is often shocked by the things I say and write, commented that she was grateful that someone asked what R.B.F. is so she wouldn’t have to. I thought it was self-explanatory. I have a pretty good R.B.F. myself. I think a lot of women develop one so they won’t be harassed by men. Seriously, if you look unpleasant and unapproachable, most people will leave you alone. It’s a great defense mechanism. Today’s featured photo is an example of one of my MANY R.B.F.s. Actually, in that photo, I was pretty pissed off.

As Bill was telling this story, I was cracking up. I told him he should have pulled out his Schwanz and taken a piss, too. It’s not like we haven’t seen dozens of European men peeing in public, although they don’t typically do it on busy thoroughfares. But the weather is so chilly that it would have meant instant shrinkage. We’re talking a stack of dimes shrinkage. Bill isn’t that bold, anyway.

I usually try not to let Arran pee on buildings, though, mainly because I don’t enjoy being confronted by random people about my dog’s natural toileting habits. Arran peed on that pillar because many other dogs have peed there. That’s like the community bulletin board for dogs. They go by and leave their urinary calling cards for all of the other dogs in the neighborhood. It’s Arran’s way of saying “Arran wuz here.”

The one time anyone German (other than ex landlady) ever spoke to me about my dogs’ potty habits was pretty positive. I was walking Zane and Arran through the field near us and one of the dogs pooped near a wood pile. I was cleaning up the pile when a guy drove up in his truck. He had a look on his face that told me I was about to be confronted. I immediately got nervous, because I figured the guy was going to yell at me. Then I realized that the look on his face wasn’t one of annoyance. In fact, he looked amazed and appreciative.

The man explained in German that people were regularly letting their dogs go potty by his wood pile, but they usually just leave their dogs’ piles of crap there. So he was delighted to catch me cleaning up after my dogs and was offering thanks. That was a memorable experience and every time I pass that woodpile, I remember it with a smile.

Hearing Bill relate that story also reminded me of a funny memory from several years ago, when we visited Rome. We were wandering around the city and happened to pass a church, where a homeless looking guy was sitting on the steps, drinking a beer. Another man was passing and shamed the homeless looking dude for drinking on the church steps. The street person did not seem affected by the shaming.  He casually raised his bottle as if to offer a sip to the guy who had just yelled at him. It was pretty funny.

As I sit here writing this, I’m reminded of how much I miss traveling and interacting with people. We have had so many funny things happen to us, especially in Europe. Like, for instance, the time we were in a Seville restaurant drinking wine. A bum came in begging for spare change. This guy was pretty ballsy and had a sense of humor. He was very persistent about begging for change, and I was a bit drunk. The bum and I ended up engaging in a really funny exchange, so at my prompting, Bill gave the guy a euro or two. Then I told him to beat it.

Actually, I rarely wear a mask, because I rarely leave my neighborhood.

I really hope this COVID-19 crisis eases up soon so we can have some fun again. It’s pretty sad when a random encounter with a German guy over dog whiz results in a blog post. I miss creating memories. Hell, it’s almost time for President’s Day, which is typically a long weekend we use for traveling to other places. Last year, we went to France. It’s also Fasching season, which usually means there will be festivals involving costumes, drinking, and partying in the streets. In 2019, we even got mooned while eating in a restaurant! But not this year. 🙁

We can’t go anywhere or celebrate Carnival, because everything is locked down. I guess the one consolation is that the weather is positively shitty right now and will be so for probably another week to ten days, at the very least. So another precious long weekend gets lost to the stupid virus. At least we have Noyzi here to provide some fun. And at least we live in a comfortable home, in a neighborhood where people are generally nice and leave us alone. I don’t have to employ my R.B.F. very often in these parts. I guess I have to take my victories wherever I can find them.