Blending in

One of the most amusing experiences of our trip to Croatia and Slovenia was how often we’d get mistaken for a local. The typical experience went something like this:

Me/Helen: “Dobar dan!”

Waiter/Ticket Agent/Person on the street/etc: “Moj lebdeći brod je pun jegulja.”

Me/Helen: “I’m sorry. I don’t speak Hrvatska!”

This happened time and time again. All we learned was how to say hello and thank you, but every time we started out with “dobar dan” people assumed we were Croatian. Then when we said “hvala” they laughed and said we really were Croatian!

It was a fascinating experience. We haven’t encountered this in other countries, despite learning some local vocabulary. Most likely there’s a fair bit of tourism in Croatia but from people who make no effort to learn any Croatian. It just reinforces the fact that taking some time to learn some of the local language, culture, etc. makes traveling not only easier but also more rewarding!

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