I moved to this strange border city without a true identity in July. The World Cup was coming to an end, but our classes were just starting. I spent the past two months here studying during the week and people watching during the weekend. I met the winds of “Bora.” I saw the Italian Renaissance piazzas, the Austro-Hungarian facades upon majestic buildings, the ancient Roman ruins sitting beside cafes melting into the local scenery, the ceaseless energy of the Mediterranean Sea lapping the giant stones of the Barcola, the dogs walking their owners before dinner, the fancy dressed Triestinos, the teenage wannabe punks, babies in strollers, pizzas on every corner, Chinese working the cheap stores, Africans hawking random junk, Indians selling flowers, and there I was, among them all. It is my favorite part of traveling…after eating of course! So, here are a few samples of local life.
Oddly enough, I went with some Indian food for dinner. It was a nice place, full of Indian families with plates scattered about their tables and wonderfully decorated. I ordered samosas and curry chicken and it was all good.
Our group was out exploring.
Taking someone’s photograph overseas requires courage and perseverance through the language barrier. Sometimes I can manage it, but other times I take the cowardly route and just snap a shot of the life around me. These were taken in various cities in and around the Istrian Peninsula of western Croatia.
It’s a beautiful land, green hills, blue water, fresh air and unpronounceable words.
In case you need to find the Ispovijed, it’s near the WC.
This dress lets you know where to look.
Breaking Bad is cool everywhere.
3 out of 4 women on cell phones.
The Franciscans enjoying a moment of mirth.
She tried to sell us that tablecloth for 10 euro.
The faithful lighting candles.
We got in two minutes before closing. Quiet, empty churches are just as interesting as the ones filled with worshipers.
People love a pope.
The streets of Japan are eerily clean, almost as if it was cleaned for a obsessive recluse who they were trying to lure outside. There are bicycles putzing along, freshly washed Toyota’s, Honda’s and Mazda’s gleaming down the road and plenty of street food vendors. It has mountains visible from all angles. And, just like any big city, surprises around every corner.
Look at that street! Good lines, no trash, no illegal parking, well done Japan.
Look at that cat! So fluffy and cute, he ran away before we could touch him.
Look at those cheeks! Mom is so happy and proud of her munchkins.
These guys were rail-thin, and looked at their phones as they crossed the street.
Bikes and buildings everywhere.
Takoyaki–octopus fried with flour. I kept saying, “I’ll try it later, I’ll try it later.” And then I never tried it.
I taught Jordyn how to make a fist and she punched me very hard and accurately. Something about a boxing gym makes people want to fight.
The old guy bought us some sushi on the street and so we followed him back to his bar where we met his crazy wife who talked constantly and laughed loudly like a Japanese Fran Drescher. We drank several bottles of sake here.
I was impressed with the friendliness of the Japanese people. They didn’t bow as much as I thought they would, but they emphatically say “Hai” whenever you ask a question imparting such a sense of importance of your question, “Where is the bus stop?”