Jasmine's Busking Adventure Part VI -Dubrovnik

At last, I reached my final destination! I chose Dubrovnik because I desperately wanted to be by the water. At first I was considering Barcelona, but Then I’d have to pass through Boring ol’ France, and I already been to that side of Europe. Croatia was something new and intriguing, and Dubrovnik just happens to be the most southest part of Croatia, so I reckoned it would be the warmest? Well, I wasn’t wrong because we had AMAZING sunny weather the whole time. The bus stopped for gas before we arrived and I went to take pictures of some daisies. Some guy who was on the same bus as I was,

came up and talked to me. Says he’s working at a hotel in Dubrovnik, bla bla bla, so I took the opportunity to get him to take pictures of me.

There were weirdly like three or four border crossings where the police checked our passports. They were questioning us on which countries we’d been to in the last few days. Some people had to leave the bus and go to the office for more questions, but in the end, everyone got through.

When we landed in Dubrovnik, I knew the taxi prices to the old town were going to be stupid, so I was happy that guy who talked to me at the gas stop asked me where I was going, and offered to share a cab to the old town, since he was going there too. He knows the place so he knew which taxi was the right one (with the real price) so we went straight to that one, which was at the back of the line. All the other cabbies were like « hey! You ride in our taxi! » and dude was like: « Kuja, ja sam hrvatska i radim ovdje! neću platiti vaše turističke cijene. » and I winced my eyes as though to say « yeah. So there. » and we got inside the cab.

We all chatted in the car and I was talking bout how I wanted to go to the beach. Then I realized that I didn’t get a chance to change my Bosnian money to Croatian Kuna yet! But the guy said it was fine and he would pay for it. Nice. Duško was the name of our driver, and he gave me his number and told me that if ever I had any questions or needed anything, I should call him. Little did I know how much I would end up needing him! Duško dropped us off at the old town, and right as we got out, the dude grabbed my bags and he was like, « alright, let’s drop our bags off in your room and go to the beach! »

Ummm. Excuse me? Out loud I said « Oh, I just wanna be alone for now » but in my head, I said « Qu’est-ce que fuck does this clown think this is? The Audacity, man. Tsk.” And then I found out the hotel where he works is actually on the other side of town. So he took a cab with me super far out of his way Just for a chance to get with me? Oiii. What an idiot. Well, at least I got a free cab ride. And good pictures.

So my little guest house was right by the Main Street (thank you Booking.com). It was so cute. There was a sign over the bed that said: « Wake up every morning with the thought that something wonderful is about to happen ». I saw that on the booking pictures, and that’s why I took it. Guesthouse Tomasi. The most perfect little corner of paradise (aka Dubrovnik). So comfy and warm and pretty!

It was only 2 pm when I arrived so I had all day to look around. If Vienna is a Grand Empress, and Zagreb is a beautiful peasant girl, and Sarajevo is a jewel box; Dubrovnik is the evil Queen. She’s So Expensive, and somewhat cold (in her heart). So gorgeous, though. It was hard to find a beach, but they have lots of beautiful harbors, with turquoise and blue water. The old town is situated within fortress walls, with high towers, and it all looks very fairytale-like.

I didn’t even realize it was the set they used to film Game of Thrones. I don’t watch Game of Thrones, though, so I didn’t particularly care.

The next day I found a really good Deep-fried Salmon sandwich for lunch in a fast food place. It was so So yummy, and really well-priced for Dubrovnik. I think it was like 60 Kuna, which is like 8€ I think? It’s called Barba; hidden gem among the narrow labyrinth-like streets. I was So mixed up by then, trying to calculate costs, what with playing with so many different moneys. It’s like money lost all intrinsic value and it’s just colorful paper to me, now.

Sadly there was not a lot of people walking around the main street, as I’d hoped. I was told it was due to Corona. Also the season hasn’t started yet. Even though it’s warm, it’s not warm enough to go swimming. Except for crazy people who like that kind of torture. I STILL went out and played of course, because that’s what I came here to do, after all! It was magic. Every shop keeper peeked out of his shop, children danced, teenagers took videos, and the whole street was transformed. From a quiet, cold walking street to a fun musical alive square! Yayyyy and I did it all by myself! Because I took all my fears, smooshed them together, and I said “Fuck You, fear!” Some cops walked by me and didn’t say a thing, too. But after an hour or so, my speaker started making scratchy noises again. Damn it! So I packed up. But I did pretty well. About 80€ I think.

Later that eve I got hungry (as one does) and I wanted something nice to eat that wasn’t 25€ for a plate of Bosnian food that I JUST ate two days ago IN Bosnia for 3€ (I’m looking at you, Taj Mahal). I was asking google but google was straight up lying to me. Also, a lot of restaurants were just plain closed for lack of people. Finally, I settled on some crêpes with rosehip jam (mmmm rosehip jam). As I happily ate my crêpe, some French dude came up to me like “hey, you’re the singer from this afternoon! That was so cool what you did! You brought the town exactly what it needed: Some music!” And I smiled and I was happy of course. Actually he was Belgian, but it’s the same thing.

He was with his other (actually) French friend, and we just sat together and had beers and chatted! They were so cool! They were so friendly and funny. They live in South Africa and they are traveling from there, all the way up to Paris by motorcycle! I told them about my life and how I’ve been traveling for seven years, just learning to be myself, and they were REALLY impressed. They thought it was very brave of me. Lol. I don’t understand why people think I’m so brave. What’s brave about what I’m doing? I’m just traveling and living my life, because I like it!

Right, so it turns out that guy is a photographer, And he’s got a really nice camera! He was super down to shoot a nighttime video of me singing in the empty streets of Dubrovnik old

Town, amongst the beautiful ancient architecture and whatnot. So we did! I didn’t know what song to do, and then he played me a song from South Africa by Johnny something or other. And that made me think of Another song that I used to sing with my choir, called Kumbaya. Not the hippy campfire song everybody knows. A different Kumbaya. So we went out and filmed it, and while I was singing, a bunch of people gathered round and started taking pictures and stuff, and all these guys were clapping and swaying along. After that we filmed it again a couple of times, and the same people joined in and sang with me, and they were clapping to the beat; It was really a magical moment. So perfect. Too bad my amp was scratching. Anyway, so that was cool. Some American guy walked passed and gave me 20$. Lol. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

Next day I found an actual beach. The view was so amazing with the sunset. I think the beaches in Dubrovnik aren’t very beachy. They’re more rocky. I prefer sandy beaches because you can run and roll around In them if you like. But rocky beaches are pretty too. You just need shoes.

My plan was to go from Dubrovnik, back to Sarajevo, which I love because it’s cheap and so pretty, there’s lots of people, and it’s so easy to make good money there!

So the next day I bought a bus ticket to Sarajevo online, and I called Dusko the taxi driver, who sent his colleague to pick me up and take me to the bus station. When I got there I found out that the bus had been canceled. Yes, because of Coronavirus. They had closed the borders to Bosnia. I was a bit nervous that I might be stuck in Dubrovnik, because I didn’t have a lot of money left, and Dubrovnik was becoming a ghost town!

So I went back to my guest house, and the owner was really sweet. She helped me figure out how to get out of there, and she let me stay an extra night Free of Charge!

She told me there was a bus the next day going to Zagreb (10-hour ride yikes!) and from there I could fly to Germany. I was kind of happy I got to stay another night and watch the sun set on the castle, by the rocky beach!

Ahhhh. But the next morning I was off again. I called Duško (the cheapest taxi in town) who brought me to the bus station, again. This time, the bus came. The driver was being really aggressive with me, I didn’t understand why. He was getting really annoyed that it took me some seconds to produce my ticket. He was tagging everyone else’s bags except mine and I was like “hello... I exist...” finally he looked at me up and down, demanded my passport, and then started mumbling and grumbling, and looking at me like I was dirty.

There were some police officers around, and they translated for me that the driver was not trying to let foreigners on the bus. After a bunch of talking and translating and misunderstanding, they offered me a refund for my ticket and didn’t let me get on the bus. Now I was getting kind of annoyed.

I felt like the bus driver needed an attitude adjustment, so I walked up to him from behind, and then I gave him a Big Kiss on the cheek. He screamed and ran away like a little boy! All the people and cops who were around watching started laughing like crazy. And I started laughing too. A few minutes later he came back out of his hiding place, angry and storming towards me, yelled and insulted me in Croatian, and I just laughed.

I was told the best bet to get to Zagreb was to fly. So I called Duško again! I found a flight going to Zagreb that afternoon. He drove me to the airport. We had a few hours to kill so we went to a little restaurant outside the airport and he bought me lunch. He told me about his life and how he spent 20 years as a seaman, making good money but feeling unfulfilled. We talked about this crazy apocalyptic movie that’s going on around us these days. He said he’s not sure that all this is true, as the media loves blowing everything up to scare people, but either way, it affects us. It’s like a storm on the sea. From one day to the next, everything can change. Something dreadfully dark, loud and frightening becomes so peaceful and calm, you hardly recognize that it’s the same place. So I asked what you do when you have a sea storm? And he said you have to slow down, and maybe change direction, or wait it out. Kind of like this storm we’re having now.

I told him he was very wise, and he laughed heartily and got up and then we drove to the airport.

The rest was pretty uneventful. At the airport I was the only person in line to check-in. Singing to myself, the girl at the desk told me to keep singing because they need some entertainment. They’re so bored working at the airport because almost no one is traveling. I had a whole row to myself, on the plane. I stayed in a nice guesthouse in Zagreb and again I was the only guest. The owner was SO kind that she drove me to the airport at 5:30 in the morning to catch my flight to Frankfurt! She told me on the way that she was feeling worried because without any travelers, she didn’t know how she was going to take care of her kids! I've never seen such empty airports. No lineups. It was like the whole place was just for me. Pretty cool. Anyway so in Frankfurt I took a FlixTrain (yeah it’s like FlixBus but it’s a train) back to B. Town. And now I’m here. So that was a fun adventure Thanks for joining in. Can’t wait til the next one.