So here’s the deal—I have no choice but to flee to Croatia. I suppose there are worse places to be a refugee, like Detroit or wherever it is in the world that they eat smoked whale. But I really, really wanted to stay here in Naples. I’ve fallen in love with this city: the garbage, the grit, the old people, the pizza, the coast, the narrow roads, the fact that there’s a street vendor near me that sells toilet paper with Berlusconi’s face on it. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I feel like I belong here—the only place I’ve ever truly felt belonging was at Harry Potter World in Florida–but I do feel right here. For example: at my local cheese shop, they start making my signature sandwich (mozzarella di bufala, tomato, prosciutto crudo) right when I enter, which is honestly all I’ve ever wanted in life, to have a place where people know my sandwich.
But unfortunately, there are laws, and strangely enough, Italy actually follows them. I need to leave bella Napoli because there’s a 90 day limit on traveling in “Schengan” countries as a tourist. I arrived in the Schengan area on June 13. SO, in order not to be a clandestina, I must leave Italy before September 13. Fortunately, Croatia is not Schengan, nor is the UK. (Nor is Bulgaria or Russia, but like, nahhh). And since I refuse to return to America without being at least twenty shades darker (my stomach is still Draco Malfoy-level pale), I chose Croatia. I found a reasonable little studio that’s ON THE SEA, a few kilometers outside of Split. My backyard will literally be the sea. THIS MEANS I CAN SKINNY DIP MORNING, NOON, AND NIGHT.
I’m nervous, though. I feel like Croatian is a crazy language with crazy sounds, plus I know the food can’t be as delicious as the food in Italy. But maybe that’s a good thing. If I’m eating less, and speaking with people less, I can devote more time to my writing, playing Candy Crush, skinny dipping, and working on my fitness. (Summer fitness goal: acquire ability to touch toes, with only bending knees a little).
So we’ll see how these two months go. Maybe I’ll learn Croatian or start wearing kooky hats. There’s no way of knowing what will happen! Which is exciting, but also terrifying, I just hope they sell Diet Coke at the supermarkets and understand some English or at least the way my body moves to express certain things like, “I want the sandwich with extra cheese and mayonnaise” or “No please I do not want to buy your weapons,” or “Where is the nearest bathroom, I’m almost positive I have sauce on my face and I’d like to wipe it off.”
All that’s certain is I’m back in the states on November 16th.
Stay tuned for updates—my studio will allegedly have reliable internet, so ideally, I will post like crazy about skinny-dipping, food, and cultural adventures. Who knows what sort of crazy hijinks I’ll get into.
(Please comment with any Croatia recs!)