Here were 11 things that surprised us about Croatia:
- The trams and the road in general weren’t well-separated from the sidewalks. As a result, every time a tram went by, I felt like I was very close to it, or like I could accidentally walk into its path.
- We saw quite a few people eating gelato during cold rain. I can’t think of another place where I’ve seen people continue to flock to ice cream parlors while it’s actively raining.
- The most popular thing being sold to eat on the street was corn on the cob.
- This city is so largely populated by tourists that the (comparatively few) locals loudly honk at each either as they go by, whether they’re driving a scooter, a car, or a bus.
All of Croatia:
- A lot of cafes and bars here serve no food: just drinks. You can get any liquor, beer, cofee, juice, or water you like, but not even a cookie. Try to think of a single place in the US where this is the case. From Blue Bottle Coffee or Jamba Juice to any local bar or coffee shop, I’ve always found chips, hot dogs, cookies, or something to nibble on. B says this is why Croatians are thin. I say that this is why I am grumpy.
- They like their pastries – or their tourists do.
- A lot of things were expensive. For example, I went looking for a bra at a Sears-like department store, and the average price seemed to be $50.
- There are lots of mosquitos here in the summer. Not that I have personal experience.
- Pretty much everyone speaks English: significantly more people than you might expect.
- In my opinion, written Croatian is 60-75% the same as (or comprehensible by someone who speaks) Russian; when spoken, the accent changes enough to obscure words. Based on our experience, it doesn’t seem that Croatians realize this.
- They call themselves the home/birthplace of the cravat (tie). I’m not certain why this is a big deal, but they even had a giant one in a Zagreb store entrance.