Eastern European Trip Day 1

Sun, May 12, 2013

Today is my birthday and I'm pretty sick. 
I've got a sore throat and I am aching all over. 
My buddy Shawn is flying into Zagreb, Croatia 
today from California and so I must go meet him. 
Barely alive, I land in Zagreb and find my 
friend drinking an espresso at the cafe just 
outside the baggage claim. He's Europeanized 
already. I haven't seen Shawn in almost a year 
and it always feels like it's been forever.  
We hung out all the time in school but for 
four of the last five years, I've been living abroad.
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I've never been to Croatia before but fortunately 
because of online poker I have some international 
friends I have never met face to face. Dace is one 
of them. 
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Although he warned me in advance that Zagreb 
is just a standard functioning Eastern European 
city, having someone show you around the city 
is always a great way to start the trip.
We walk over to a street full of cafes, bars, and restaurants 
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and have a drink + a shot of Rakija, a Croatian 
liquor.  Dace's favorite topic of the day pointing 
out combinations Croatians have to make money.  
Croatians make on average $500 usd/month and 
so the other unorthodox methods they use, such 
as buying and selling parts, selling drugs, etc., are 
called combinations.

It's getting to be almost dinner time so we head 
over to this big park where there's a restaurant that 
serves some food I won't be finding on the west side 
of Croatia.
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We had two kinds of cheeses, I think they were croatian,
one of them was pretty salty.  Spanish ham, and a salami, 
a croatian specialty.  It seems like every Eastern European 
country has their own recipe for the "best salami" and it 
tastes awesome everywhere.  Conclusion, salami is awesome.
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ćevapi, these little breakfast sausage looking things 
but tastes much meatier...maybe porkier.  These little 
bad boys will shorten your life span, which means you 
have to eat it at least a couple times before deciding 
if the taste is worth part of your life.  
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You rip pieces of oven baked crispy bread and get 
some sausage + onion + cheese.  That cheese in the 
middle I think is Serbian; it tastes milky and melts 
after a second or two of applied meat heat.  Awesome.

Shawn stuffed his bread like a burger/sandwich.  
Dace and his friend were noticeably amused by the 
first American-Croatian sandwich that was just brought 
into this world.

I'm aching and my throat is sore so we're calling it 
a night.  Tomorrow we start on our road trip to 
Ljubljana, Slovenia.

May 12 2013 mikeysong Category: Food Restaurant Travel

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