Photobombing in the Global Village

Trip Start Sep 09, 2013
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6
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Trip End Dec 16, 2013


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Flag of Croatia  ,
Thursday, September 19, 2013

Once we arrived in the beautiful and medieval walled city of Dubrovnik, it was time to put the polar fleece away.... WAY down in the bottom of the backpack. (Hopefully it will stay there for awhile). Sunshine and warm air of the sub-tropical Adriatic greeted us on day one - but so did the tourist crowds. What Iceland could not offer in terms of heat, it could offer in terms of space. In that regard, we have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Dubrovnik - understandably - is a very popular destination for cruise ships. Every day, at least three of these behemoth floating hotels disgorge their contents into the old city. Stradun (the main street, pedestrians only, as is the entire old city) gives new meaning to the term 'cheek by jowl' between the hours of 10am and 4pm. I am not really a crowds person, but Dubrovnik is so incredible and so so magical I am able to overcome my (oh so Canadian) sense of personal space by employing several key strategies.

The Obvious Strategy - go out in the old city before 10am and after 4pm. Dubrovnik is extra magical at night, the air is cooler, the crowds are (somewhat) thinner, the 500 year old structures are floodlit, and the narrow side streets are artfully and invitingly graced with lanterns and myriad eateries.

Embrace the Global Village Strategy - I really enjoy picking out all the different languages spoken on the street - Croatian (apparently Dubrovnik has it's own dialect of same), French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian. Honestly, I am humbled by the fact that so many citizens of other countries can speak English - the true 'lingua franca' of the modern age - and how (relatively) few citizens from English speaking countries, like me, can reciprocate. It's a bit shameful, really.

And then there's the Aussies. Lord knows what they are saying at the best of times! But I jest. We have found ourselves pleasantly in the company of DownUnders on several occasions over dinner and even at a candlelight concert. At our hostel, some young Australians were teaching us a card game and, while discussing the tourist hordes, one of them piped up, "we paid too much bloody money to get here and complain about the crowds." Too right, mate!

The Photobomb Strategy - in a crowd, this one is easy - just get into as many tourist shots as possible!  Especially when people are taking videos of stationary objects ... like statues (!?)... just walk by and doff your hat, or pick your nose, or pirouette.... I don't actually do that, but I dream of it.  

However, I do have one crowd induced crime to confess-

As Canadians, naturally, we carry with us our national inferiority complex... which other nationalities interpret as being.... well, polite.  A certain touring group from another nationality (which will go unnamed, let's just say they are from mid-Europe)  apparently has no such inferiority complex - they were willing to barge in front of anyone at anytime, heedless of queues or protocol.  Rather than say something, which would have been the mature thing to do, I just took it upon myself to photobomb their group pic with my rabbit face.  It was very satisfying. (I did tell you in a previous blog that am the passive-aggressive sort).

And as for that Canadian inferiority complex, I have to say I had a proud Canuck moment when the local band playing in the town square covered Neil Young.  That maddening, beautiful Dubrovnik crowd, made up of Croats, Italians, Brits, Americans, Russians and even the bloody Aussies sang together (well, sort of....):

I've been to Hollywood
I've been to Redwood
I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold...


Only Stompin' Tom's "Hockey Song" would have sounded sweeter.
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Comments

Marie on

The photo bombing of rude tourists made me laugh out loud and choke on my wine!!! Tooooo funny! I can totally picture you doing the rabbit face :)

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