The region my family is from is called the Gorski Kotar, or Mountain District, and is in the northwest corner of the country, the “handle” of Croatia’s odd wishbone shape……In the Gorski Kotar, Zlatko said, one of the most ancient dialects of Croatian is spoken ….So bizarre is the Gorski Kotar, in fact, that every region surrounding it had been affected by the Balkan wars from 1992 to 1995, and yet it had remained oddly untouched. He had no explanation for why this was.
Croatians are always lighting cigarettes.
……..Risnjak National Park, 1,600 acres of beech and fir undulated over hard waves of limestone and dolomite – the geological glue between the Alps and the Balkan mountains…
…..Your first cousins are the people in your family who have the same grandparents. Second cousins are people who have the same great-grandparents. Third cousins share great-great-grandparents. The word ‘removed’ means that two people are from different generations…….
“What’s the secret of happiness?” I asked, fishing for something meaningful, half joking.
Baka Ana cackled loud
“Use cow shit on your garden!”