Saturday, 22 February 2020
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

Temporary traffic lights on the main coastal road that runs from the city of Dubrovnik to the airport and down to the border with Montenegro are causing long tailbacks today.

A reader sent us these photos of the traffic jams on this busy road. And as the Dubrovnik rush hour is coming the queues could be even longer later this afternoon.

If you are planning to drive, either to or from the city, then expect longer driving times than usual.

Keep your news and photos coming in.

 

Love (and beer) is in the air and its time for a special Valentine’s Day edition of the popular Pub Quiz at the Dubrovnik Beer Company. Get your thinking caps on this Friday the 14th of February for a quiz with a romantic twist.

The Dubrovnik Beer Company will host the proven quiz team of the Bonsai Association and the presenter, Mark Thomas, for a night of fun and head scratching. And yes, the pub quiz is in English. It’s not about winning it about taking part.

Registration is required to participate. The maximum number of teams that can sign up is 10. Each team must have a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 people. Your team name and the number of team members should be registered so get your skates on as places are always limited.
Register today via:

- in the inbox FB of Dubrovnik Brewery,
- mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- sms or call on mobile number 095 356 9620

The quiz starts at 8:00 pm and contestants must arrive no later than 7:30 pm.

 

Fish and chips, English marmalade, fudge and sticky toffee pudding all went on sale today in the various branches of the German supermarket chain Lidl’s across Croatia.

The German supermarket giant regularly offers weeks of international foods and this week is the turn of Great Britain and Ireland. If you were missing the aroma of smoked bacon in the morning, then from today, the 10th of February, you’ll be able to pick up a packet or two at your local Lidl.

Ex-pats living in Croatia often crave specific foods that remind them of home, from cheddar cheese to traditional chutneys, so for a week, or while stocks last you can stockpile a few of these old favourites.

Full list of products can be found here

 

Bad news, sad news, tragic news, terrifying news everywhere. Wherever I click, whatever I watch, the news of somebody losing their life, taking life, being sick, committing a crime pops out. Every now and then there is also some environmental disaster as a bonus. I scroll and scroll, catching just glimpses of darkness combined with news on fashion trends, latest books, celebrity buzz or anything else created to relax the troubled minds of internet consumers.

''I skip the bad news; I don't need that'' are the lyrics of one old Croatian song that are pretty much stuck in my head nowadays. However, it seems impossible to skip the bad news and some sort of defence mechanism turns itself on, and non-consciously, a bit robot-like I scroll through my feed. I almost close my eyes doing it - 500 dead of corona virus, beautiful girl dies in car crash, storm destroys homes, oh wait, what is that, a different way to spice chicken for today's lunch? That seems interesting.

Do we just avoid bad news or do we not care anymore? It's not that I don't care, it's the fact that I care too deeply and being bombed with tragedies from every corner of the internet makes me a bit anxious. In order to ''survive'' all the traumatic articles served on my news feed plate, I need to ignore and jump over some. And I'm not even sure where the problem is – in the fact that there are much more terrifying events nowadays or that many of them, even if they are light, are blown way out of proportion and made over dramatic?

I'm a journalist, but the kind of journalism that I do is much lighter. However, I understand that this click-bait period can be really tempting when it comes to some tragic events and news as, for example, deadly diseases – a bit of drama can get you thousands and thousands of more clicks. But is causing global panic really worth the clicks? And are we, after making many people panic from month to month because of various reasons, which regularly turn out to be false alarms, making readers as cold as stone?

That takes me to another problem – in an era full of drama, many people have seemingly been vaccinated from empathy.

You know them, they are all over the comments of the upsetting articles, making even more disturbing comments. They joke, make fun, argue. There is a time and a place for everything, it's said, but somehow I don't feel that there is a time and a place for making a joke about the death of thousands of people anywhere – especially not below an article bringing that sort of information.

Are people losing their minds or is caring for others just ''so last year''? Why is this time full of tragedies and bad news taking us even further apart, when surely it should be bringing us all closer together? It's hard to tell. Maybe we should teach people how to care again. Maybe we should teach them – again – that if you don't have something nice to say, it's better not to say anything at all. That you need to put yourself in the place of the other person to know how he or she feels. That you don't have to help, but you don't have to additionally hurt somebody. It's easy. Let's not ignore the bad news. Let's feel them. Let's heal each other. It's time to try to make empathy trend.

Ivana Smilovic

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Ivana Smilovic or "Smile" is a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times, passionate book lover and a self-confessed coffee addict. As a local, she loves to bring news and stories from her native Dubrovnik... This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Working from home in Croatia is way below the European Union average making up a mere 1.4 percent of the working population. The Netherlands leads the way with 14 percent working from home, whilst the EU average is 5.2 percent.

When it comes to working from home Croatia has the fourth least amount of people, with only 1.4 percent, with only Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria having less stay at home employees. Whilst the global trend is for more and more employees to work from home Croatia still has a lot of catching up to do.

After the Netherlands the top three of stay at home workers was made up by Finland with 13.3 percent and Luxembourg with 11 percent.

working from home across the eu

Working from home across the European Union - Photo Eurostat 

 

With a holy mass in the St. Blaise Church on Gorica and the lowering of the patron saint’s flag in front of the St. Blaise Church in the heart of the Old City the 1048th Festivity of St. Blaise ended today.

The ceremony began this morning when the flags and banners of St. Blaise were taken from the town to the church on Gorica, where a holy mass was held.

At exactly midday in front of the church of St. Blaise in the Old City the priest, Tomo Lucic, held a mass and the official flag of St. Blaise was lowered by this year’s masters of ceremonies. As the hymn of St. Blaise echoed around the stone facades of Dubrovnik the 1048th festivity for the patron saint of Dubrovnik came to an end.

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The Dubrovnik region has once again been shaken by an earthquake. Last night, at around 10 minutes past twelve, an earthquake shook the city.

The epicentre was 60 kilometres north of Dubrovnik in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Euro Mediterranean Seismological Centre have reported that the earthquake was at a depth of 2 kilometres and measured 3.2 on the Richter Scale.

The seismic activity around the region has been markedly high over the past few months, starting with the November earthquake that struck Albania. That fatal earthquake measured 6.4 on the Richter Scale and was the world's deadliest earthquake in 2019.

Croatia and neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina have regularly been struck by earthquakes over the past months and this latest one was the third to be felt in Dubrovnik this year.

 

Five little letters to say I love you. No, not adore, but prsut. I love prsut! Yes, I will admit it, my name is Mark Thomas and I am a prsut addict. Just the look of it drives me crazy. It probably drives my arteries crazy as well, but no pain no gain. The deep red colour, the salty aroma and the taste, oh my mouth is watering just writing this sentence. In a sandwich, with bread and cheese, in a salad or even just on its own, prsut is a gift from the Gods.

If I were ever to leave these lands then the one food I would miss, no miss is too small a word, is the Dalmatian delicacy. And it has to be Dalmatian. I have tried Spanish and Italian but they don’t have the strength or the intense flavour of prsut dried in that biting bura.

I don’t really have a sweet tooth. I’d quite happily skip the dessert in a restaurant to replay the starter. Recently I ordered a cake for a special occasion. “Would you like a fruit cake, chocolate or maybe Nutella?” the cake maker asked. “Do you make a prsut and cheese flavoured one,” I answered with a grin. They didn’t, unfortunately.

“Am I dreaming or can I smell prsut,” I whispered to my wife as we were almost falling asleep. Maybe it was a prsut inspired dream, and probably not the first, but the delicious aroma of smoked meat was filling our bedroom. Strange, but true. I got up, curious. The more I moved away from the bedroom the less the smoky smell faded. And as I got back to the bedroom my wife was already in REM. Trying to sleep with the mouth-watering prsut aroma was challenging. I even got up and made myself a cheese sandwich (I didn’t have any prsut in the fridge).

A few days passed and the aroma had long since disappeared. But then. “Oh, something smells nice,” I said to my neighbour as we bumped into each other in our gardens. “I’m pretty sure it isn’t coming from my kitchen,” I added with a smile as the smoked meat scent wafted over us. She jiggled and added “Unless an oil covered tea towel has caught fire on my stove it isn’t coming from my kitchen either.”

The Zupa prsut mystery continued. I found myself eating more and more just to fight the hunger pangs that this prsut perfume was giving me. And while we are on the subject of perfume, why do Chanel and Christian Dior waste time creating fruity smelling products when surely the most attractive smell for men would be the aroma of prsut. Chanel No.6 = prsut! A sure winner. Again nothing for a few days. No wafts of dried meat. But as sure as the sun sets in the west the aroma came back.

I had noticed a pattern. Like Poirot I was starting to detect evidence. Every time that my nostrils were filled with prsut the bura was blowing. My culprit must be somewhere south of my location.

A few months previous I had heard the neighbours behind me banging around as if they were constructing something. A large wall divides our homes and therefore observing what they were building was impossible. And after a few days it stopped anyway, so I guessed it was probably just a minor alteration.

So I waited. I waited patiently for the next bura. It came. And so did the prsut. Following my nose, like a bloodhound on the trail of its prey, I darted around for the source of my hunger torture. Jumping onto a small wall I peered on tiptoes over the back wall. I was a prsut voyeur. Was that smoke? And what is that tower? A very gentle wisp of smoke was slowly raising from the top of the tower. As I was peeping I heard “Need some smoked meat for your goulash neighbour,” and a beaming smile across my neighbour’s face. Prsut Poirot had solved the mystery.

The construction work I had heard was indeed a meat smoker and drier. “We have sausages, budola and prsut, you can try them when we’ve finished,” he added still grinning. I felt like I had tasted them all already with just their tempting aroma wafting over my back wall. My dream had come true. I was living in prsut heaven. It’s time to invest in trousers with a more generous waist line. Long live prsut!

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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