A series of disconnected observations:
1. People here are incredibly bright, motivated, and educated. Croats value education highly.
2. People here walk EVERYWHERE. Walking and biking as the primary means of transportation is prevalent. Which = people here, in general, are in pretty good shape physically.
3. People here love ice cream and rich deserts, which kind of undoes #2. The primary meat is pork, and there’s LOTS of sausage, etc.
4. People here live their lives outside and in public. This appears to = more gatherings in the mall or in the park with friends, walking around and window shopping and people-watching. And less sitting at home watching TV or playing video games than in the suburbs of DFW.
Zagreb is famed for its “coffee culture”; for a large segment of the population, leisure time is spent drinking espresso drinks with friends in the open air cafes. Which is REALLY very cool, and right up my alley.
5. The produce here is from real, honest-to-goodness farms, not huge corporate labs (I see you, Monsanto.) The produce here really does taste better than what I’ve found at the big chain grocers. And the cheese and dairy is smoother and richer, for similar reasons.
6. Cappuccino made with whipping cream (unsweetened) instead of milk is a profound religious experience.
7. The side-streets here are a world to themselves. They meander, following a grid that really isn’t a grid. Many streets change names every couple of blocks. The main BIZ building is at the corner of Ulica Kušlanova (“Kuslana Street,” pronounced “oolitsa kushlanova”) and Ulica Štoosova (pronounced “shtōsova”). But one block up, Ulica Štoosova becomes Ulica Rakoćeva (“rakocheva.”)
Then again, this street grid has been in use for 500 years or so, and it’s still working. So …