How we are seen

… by those who didn’t know anything about Croatia, but they were forced to learn.

It is always interesting to write about foreigners who, when coming to Croatia, make impressions about small European country they used to come to because of the fine fish, hidden, unspoiled beaches and tourist attractions, and now have to assimilate to the culture in which conversations are long, football is an imperative, and drinking coffee is a custom. And we start with this topic – is the substance internationally known as coffee, and in our country known as kava, only a black liquid with more or less sugar, with hot or cold milk in a glass or china cup? Not really, for Croats that black liquid is everything mentioned … and even more. It has also been noticed by one American citizen with a temporary residence in Zagreb. We’ll call him Tim. And while we are reading Tim’s blog, we are amazed as he hits the point. He is American who gets right to spread the word of mouth all that Croats are – because he knows it.

So he says…
Croatian people love coffee. According to the research done by one Internet portal, an average Croat drinks 5 kilos of coffee per year and Croats spend 2.25 million hours drinking it. Tim sees us as people who, while drinking coffee, make important decisions – about marriage, divorce, job, everything. Everything is done, not even in one’s favourite coffee shop, but simply – in a café. And a café, guess what, has been named after coffee.
You are visiting someone…people you like more or less… It is decent to bring something with you. Croats take it easy – they bring coffee – ground, brick or without caffeine. The plastic bag is not essential. It is important to draw the package … from somewhere. So your dinner will be the best dinner ever… Because the hostess will not be angry anymore.

It is interesting how Americans (in this case Tim) define the purpose of drinking coffee in the U.S. and here in Croatia. When American takes a paper cup close to his mouth, the only thing that goes through his mind is something like to do more and more with the help of this ingredient that keeps you awake while for Croats it is only and entirely social event, going out, something that is written in the planner, and it’s the reason for making an appointment with your hairdresser, for skipping lunch, and so on.

While drinking coffee, Croats mingle, talk, gesticulate, and are sensitive. Tim sees that Americans (on this issue) are not so interesting – they sit and fiddle with their gadgets.
Tim finds out that the act of drinking coffee differs Croatia from all the other countries that he had previously visited. We are pleased that the image of winter in Zagreb got imprinted on his memory, which means blurred glass and shop windows, everything because of a hot cup … It’s warm because of the people who are sad, melancholic, worried or excited, at that moment. Whatever happens, there is a cup of fragrant coffee right next to them. Everything will be fine, says Tim. Everything will be resolved while drinking coffee.

Shall we go for a coffee?