Distracted by abstracts

It’s been a while since I wrote something here. It’s not that I’ve forgotten my quest, but actually because I’m gathering information to fulfil my quest. Digesting and assimilating such unfamiliar unconnected knowledge takes time hence a period of quiet reflection.

The language classes continue apace and my biggest triumph to date is greeting my landlord to be in his own language. The discomfort of speaking will never go away. However the joy of hearing and recognising a single word makes up for any oral fears.

How does someone prepare for such a move? Having seen family live and die in Spain, I’m vaguely aware of the need to fit in, take on a new way of life and thinking.

I’m struggling with the over intellectualising of attending events ‘just because they are Croatian’. I’ve recently enjoyed a play and a pianist but I would have enjoyed them regardless of my plans. I’m grateful to the British Croatian Society for their abstract contribution to my experience.

But that is my current issue. My experiences are all in the abstract. Until I’m there screaming at the bureaucracy, champing at the isolation bit, and overcoming homesickness, I don’t see what more I can do.

As if to assuage my doubt, a gentleman in the ‘what does Yugoslavia mean?’ conference, has just emphasised the importance of popular culture in finding and understanding a place. I stand by my determination to see as many Croatian events that London can offer.

No matter how shallow and meaningless.

So with this in mind, learning and preparation is always the key even if it’s only in the abstract. Getting to grips with the history,and accessing and sharing the memories of others is a messy, informative and unifying experience.


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