How to Spot a Zadran - Boutique Hostel Forum
Hm, sounds like a rather straightforward task, but is it really? After all, people who live in a place are first and foremost a group of individuals who differ greatly among themselves. Yet, they generally do seem to share certain patterns. We may call these stereotypes and even prejudices, but no harm or insult is intended in the following portrayal of the people of Zadar - how, when and where to spot them (in Zadar and elsewhere).
Many are the markets in cities worldwide listed as their top attractions and Zadar is no exception. Why? Because the market has a special buzz, since it’s a place which everyone visits, the poor and the rich, the young and the old. Fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, home-made rakija etc. are great, but observing the interaction, both in speech and gestures, between sellers and buyers is priceless
The what?! Špica (pronounced like ‘pizza’ with ‘sh’ in the front, ie ‘sh-pizza’) is a term universally used throughout Croatia for a specific time (usually Saturday morning through noon) and place (usually the city centre). It’s the time when people come to the city centre to see and be seen. They sit in a coffee bar and chit-chat for hours on end over a cup of coffee (or anything else), even lunch has to wait that day. So, pick your best outfit and head to the city centre, sit on a terrace and observe the easy-going hustle and bustle of Zadar’s Špica. And don’t be surprised if you see a squabble everywhere, because it probably isn’t. It’s just the way people discuss - they are loud and outspoken, but without any real intention to get physical.
3 balls and a card
Zadrans have heated arguments about everything, from politics to petty grievances, but their favourite topic revolves around a ball. Football? Guess again - it’s basketball! It’s the number 1 sport in Zadar and if you want to get a Zadran talking, just ask about that. And basketball courts are used around the city, not only for basketball but for a game of bocce as well. It’s yet again the perfect opportunity to get together, play a game and discuss the current affairs. More recently, football has become a popular topic as well, since the most famous Croatian football coach is currently managing the Zadar football club. And if by any chance they are not talking about balls, it’s because they are probably focusing on their cards in the game of briškula.
When in Zadar …
Do as the Zadrans do? Well it’s not really necessary. The city welcomes its visitors with open hands. And just as they might be curious about the locals, the feeling is probably mutual. So, don’t hesitate a second, approach a Zadran, have some coffee for hours on end, play some ball on the street and learn to speak some basketball-ish. It’s all you need.
Image sources: www.tportal.hr