Tuesday, 05 December 2023
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

Looking for a special way to spend your Friday night in Dubrovnik? Well, this is a great week for you then. Tomorrow, on Friday January 27th, manifestation Night of Museums is held all over Croatia. 

Croatian Museum Association is organizing the event Night of Museums in Croatia since 2005. A special program is organized every year on the last Friday of the month of January from 6 pm to 1 am, with free entrance to museums, galleries and other cultural institutions.
This is program of Night of Museums in Dubrovnik, feel free to pick anything you like!

Event location: St. John’s Fortress
6:00 – 6:30 pm Guided tour through the permanent collection of the Maritime Museum
7:00 – 9:00 pm Educational workshop for children ˝Little Shipbuilders – building of wooden boats˝ (Željko Ćatić, Dubrovnik Museums)
8:00 – 8:30 pm Lecture by Aida Cvjetković, Ph.D. ˝Federiko Glavić – Benefactor, Visionary and Keeper of Tradition˝
9:00 – 9:30 pm Guided tour through the permanent collection
6:00 pm – 1:00 am Permanent collection of the Maritime Museum
Event location: Rupe Granary
6:00 – 6:30 pm Presentation of the children’s book ˝Pavle i Đivo u Rupama˝ (Aleksandra Piteša Orešković, Dubrovnik Museums)
6:30 – 7:00 pm Guided tour through the permanent collection of the Ethnographic Museum
7:00 – 7:45 pm Workshop on making jewellery and lecture for children about dress and clothing in the Dubrovnik region (Anamarija Bezek and Barbara Margaretić; Dubrovnik Museums, Ethnographic Museum)
20:00 – 20:45 pm Literary – musical staging of ˝Lullabies˝ (˝Uspavanke˝) with a presentation of night shirts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries (Heritage Association and Branka Hajdić; Dubrovnik Museums, Ethnographic Museum)
9:00 – 9:30 pm Lecture about the Rupe Granary (Ivica Kipre; Dubrovnik Museums, Ethnographic Museum)
9:30 – 10:00 pm Lecture ˝Daguerreotypes in Dubrovnik˝ (Marina Filipović, Dubrovnik Museums; Cultural Historical Museum)
10:00 – 10:30 pm Guided tour through the permanent collection of the Ethnographic Museum
11:00 pm – 1:00 am Concert of unusual farm music along with a reception and announcement of the raffle winner
6:00 pm – 1:00 am Permanent collection of the Ethnographic Museum
6:00 pm – 1:00 am Exhibition ˝Traditional dress and clothing from the Dubrovnik region from the holdings of the Ethnographic Museum in Dubrovnik˝
6:00 pm – 1:00 am Exhibition of Daguerreotypes ˝The Mirror that Remembers (˝Zrcalo koje pamti˝) in Dubrovnik’s collections
Event location: Fort Revelin
6.00 – 6:30 pm Guided tour through the exhibitions: Early Medieval Sculpture in Dubrovnik and the Surrounding Area and Fort Revelin: Archaeological Research / Architectural Development / Foundry
6:30 – 7:15 pm Lecture by Mario Novak, Ph.D. (Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb) and Domagoj Perkić, Ph.D. (Dubrovnik Museums, Archaeological Museum) ˝Place of life or death? Bronze Age burial of a child from the Gudnja Cave through forensic science.˝
9:00 – 9:30 pm Guided tour through the exhibitions: Early Medieval Sculpture in Dubrovnik and the Surrounding Area and Fort Revelin: Archaeological Research / Architectural Development / Foundry
10:00 – 10:45 pm Lecture by Mario Novak, Ph.D. (Institute for Anthropological Research, Zagreb) and Domagoj Perkić, Ph.D. (Dubrovnik Museums, Archaeological Museum) ˝Place of life or death? Bronze Age burial of a child from the Gudnja Cave through forensic science.˝

‘’In too many countries, people are deprived of their most basic needs and go to bed hungry every night because of corruption, while the powerful and corrupt enjoy lavish lifestyles with impunity’’, said José Ugaz, the chairman of Transparency International.

Transparency International, the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption has emphasized that corruption is a global problem which has grown due to inequity and increasing populism.

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index for 2016, Croatia has dropped by two points and placed as the 55th country among 178 world countries.

The latest 'result' has put Croatia back again among corrupt countries. Among the EU member countries Croatia is followed by Hungary, Romania, Italy, Greece and Bulgaria.
On the other hand, the most transparent countries in 2016 were Denmark, New Zealand and Finland, whilst the most corrupted were African countries of South Sudan and Somalia.

Transparency International believes that corruption is not related to ideology but is a result of "greed that is neither left nor right." "That is the only objective criterion on which every research on corruption in state institutions should be based," stated Transparency International.

My wife and I will never see eye to eye when it comes to certain things, mainly regarding our individual stances on life and other people. She is one of the “think pink” crowd and has a limitless supply of optimism. I do not.

Don't get me wrong, I am not a pessimist with no hope for anything playing out in my favour. I simply don't stray from the notion that all outcomes are possible in life. The absolute worst, as well as the best. You could say I'm a sceptic and a self-proclaimed realist. Having a positive outlook when trying to accomplish something is (scientifically proven) a good thing and I'm not questioning that, but that doesn't mean you should simply deny possible alternatives to everything playing out as you've imagined it. The fact I'm a good person doesn't mean I'm not going to get hit by lightening.

This outlook works for me. I like it. Thinking about both the good and the bad possible outcomes to my actions keeps me on my toes. It keeps me cautious and prepared for potential problems (although the worst problems in one's life are usually impossible to anticipate). Also, I don't let negative thoughts control my everyday life or affect my work. So, what is the problem? The problem is, optimists are always trying to fix me. My whole life I've had to listen to people lecturing me on how I need to always be optimistic about life and have faith in people. On the other hand, I am optimistic only when I believe I have solid factual reasons to be, and less said about my faith in people the better.

Now when I'm 35 I still get lectured. Even by those younger than me. Well, there's one thing they are not taking into account. My life is great! There are so many things I have accomplished that make me proud to be me. There were probably just as many embarrassing fails along the way as well, but I don't experience them tragically or with too much emotion. Failure is always an option. However, if you tally up all my losses and wins and compare them to those of a similarly competent person with a sunnier disposition, they probably won't differ at all.

So, don't be mad if I stick to my guns and remain sceptical about thinking pink...or peachy. Moderate negativity is my way to go and this won't change in the foreseeable future. It's not the life philosophy for everyone, but it works for some of us. Besides, if we were all convinced everything will always turn out for the best, who would plan our emergency services? Who would create our insurance policies, or defence strategies? The world needs a certain amount of pessimism, it's healthy.

If there are any younger people with a similar disposition reading this, remember: it's ok to consider the bad along with the good, it's ok to sometimes feel pessimistic, and if you need to feel down every once in a while, feel down for a day and then work through it. Just make sure not to impose your feelings on others.


Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.

Preparations for the most important day of the Dubrovnik calendar are well underway. The Day of St. Blaise, held on the 3rd of February, is the day of the patron saint of the city and wreathes, flags and banners already adorn the historic city core.

Workers from the public garden authority had a busy morning decorating the streets, the monuments and most importantly the St. Blaise Church in the very heart of the Old City.

blaise 26.01 1

blaise 26.01 2

blaise 26.01 3

Apart from drive-through fast food stands and drive-in cinemas that were introduced in Croatia in the last decade, the first drive-in pharmacy is to be opened in Zagreb in February.

The drive-through pharmacy at Zagreb's neighbourhood Retkovec has already opened its doors to consumers, but its official opening is scheduled for the next month.

The Zagreb City Pharmacy company has opened this type of pharmacy with the aim to improve the availability and provision of health care services to less mobile senior citizens and parents with small children.

An access for cars is provided; all that consumers have to do is to ring the pharmacy’s bell and a pharmacist will give medications to patients through a specially designed window without requiring a patient to get out of a car or enter into the pharmacy area.

The Zagreb City Pharmacy company also plans to open drive-through pharmacies in other parts of the Croatian capital.

The Esplanade Luxury Hotel in Zagreb has become the first hotel in Croatia with the Gluten-Free Food Service Certification.

On the 24th of January the Bosk company from Rijeka which developed the first such standard for hospitality in the country awarded the Esplanade Hotel this significant certificate.

''In the past few years a demand for gluten-free food has significantly increased at the Esplanade Hotel. The gluten-free meals has already been available on our menues, but now with the certificate we believe that guests will have more confidence in what we have to offer in terms of gluten-free food'', commented Sanda Sokol, the PR and marketing manager of the Esplanade Hotel. She also hoped that this was the added value of the hotel and a specific completion of the offer, because the hotel has already have halal and kosher certificates and the HACCP system which is the basis for all standards.

On this occasion Denis Delogu, the manager of the Bosk company, emphasized that the lack of restaurants and other tourist services in Croatia with such standards was quite visible. ''These standards are increasingly present every day in the whole world, especially in the United States and Italy which have gone the furthest in terms of gluten-free food service''.

Delogu also presented data that show that nowadays 70 million people in the world are sensitive to gluten, around 190 million people avoid wheat, whilst one or two persons out of a hundred people have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder related to intolerance to gluten, a protein from wheat, rye and barley.

On the other hand, it is estimated that the gluten-free food market in Europe is worth more than one billion Euros and is expected to grow by a further 40 percent till 2018. For comparison, a kilo of gluten-free flour in Croatia is up to ten times more expensive than 'ordinary' flour.

At just after 11.30 this morning a forest fire broke out in a suburb to the north of Dubrovnik. In the hills overlooking the small village of Vrbica smoke could be seen rising into the blue skies.

According to information from the Dubrovnik Fire Brigade 27 fire-fighters with 7 fire fighting vehicles are on the scene and special planes are also dropping water on the blaze. The cause of the fire is still unknown.

fire dubrovnik

fire hills dubrovnik

fire vrbica

fire tod

fireman dubrovnik

Video by Kejt Marinovic  


A few days ago the Youtube channel of Epic Drone Videos published an amazing video of a drone video sailing in Croatia made by Jus Medic. It shows breathtaking views of Solta, Bol on Brac, Hvar and Pakleni islands, filmed by GoPro and DJI Phantom 4. 

This aerial footage is almost surreal and highlights the beauty of the Croatian islands and clean blue sea.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


Find us on Facebook