Monday, 19 August 2019
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.


The International Movie Festival “SILK ROAD – PATH OF DIALOGUE“ organized by the Marco Polo Institute that will take place in Korčula from September 22-27 continues the rich cultural program in Korčula. The Festival hopes to inspire the development of cultural cooperation and dialogue among the participating countries. During the Festival, we will be able to see a selection of movies from Syria, Turkey, China, Iran, Macedonia, Russia, India and Croatia, and thus make a modest contribution to the establishment of dialogue among the participating countries.

The festival presents a selection of recent movie production from the countries located on the silk road. The Silk Road is almost certainly the most important link in the history of mankind, connecting three continents with the key role in the development of human civilization. However, the Silk Road is not only a transportation link between the continents. It served as a cultural link between the cultures of the West and the East that helped share crucial religious, mystical and philosophical ideas, scientific, military and economic achievements and discoveries. It also contributed to the rise and fall of large empires and states. It is our desire to collect all new, experimental, radical, creative and characteristic movie production, mainstream or not, primarily focused on excellence and peculiarity.

“I support the Festival and trust that the cosmopolitan spirit of our city will help this event become a traditional gathering of participants from the Silk Road countries, some of which decided to participate in the Festival in spite of war atrocities,” commented the Mayor of Korcula, Andrija Fabris.



“Love” seems to be an important word in my life lately. It is the reason behind many decisions I've made and paths I've taken. Perhaps too many. When it comes to personal relations, love is an excellent guide and helps define goals better than any other feeling. On the other hand, when you let it affect your business life as well (and I do that often), things can get complicated.

My wife and I own a company in its second year of business which is quite an uphill part of the business development process. Yesterday morning we went to see our business banker and for the remainder of the day, when someone would ask me “Hi, how are you?” – I would reply “I’ve been to the bank this morning.” – to which most of them would just go quiet and nod their heads as if to say they understand the struggle.

Our business is an absolute labour of love, but since we love things that are a bit out of typical mainstream, we are not making as much money as we could considering the work hours and level of knowledge we put into it. This is the realisation I’m living with for a while now, and I can’t say it doesn’t bother me. My profession is management. There is no nobility tied to earning less in this area of human endeavour. Also, modern day Croatia and certainly Dubrovnik are societies that put plenty of emphasis on the importance of earning money, sometimes even to the point where dishonest practices are painted a pale shade of grey. This constant pressure for validation through one’s bank account makes patiently waiting for one’s work of passion to come to fruition that much more disheartening.

“Do what you love and you will not work a day in your life.” – reads a popular saying. It’s not true, don’t fall for it. If you are in it for the love, you will be working your butt off. So much it will damage your health and your relationships, at least a bit. This is one thing you can be sure of. There is no successful business built from the ground up that didn’t involve a whole lot of work.

So, to summarize, love will make you do all sorts of silly things in life, but in business it can make you work very long hours, risk your financial future, and make you seem crazy in the eyes of those around you. All this just so you can have a product or service of your own that you can be proud of (and maybe sleep in on Monday every once in a while).

So, why do it? Because you can’t force yourself not to. You see, when you are running your own business (that you feel passionate about), you get hooked on a very special feeling. This feeling is one of freedom and you get to feel it during those short quiet-before-the-storm moments when you get to relax, take a deep breath, and realise you are actually working on making your dreams come true. Nothing money can buy is a fitting replacement for that feeling.

Besides that, sometimes you do get to sleep in on Monday.

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.

September is World Alzheimer's Awareness Month and Alzheimer's Action Day was marked today, the 21st of September. And the Dubrovnik based society, DUSAB – Dubrovnik Association for Alzheimer sufferers, their carers, family and friends – organised an event in order to raise awareness about Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

DUSAB stated that the Dubrovnik-Neretva County has over 3,000 patients (according to the latest statistics from Alzheimer Europe) and that year on year the number of patients is growing. They also warned that there still are many stigmas related to Alzheimer's disease and dementia and that the disease still remains a mystery to the scientific community.

“My husband became ill with dementia and my daughter helped me to care. We came up with the idea to establish an association,” commented Beba Pazin, one of the founders of DUSAB. She added that the association meets every Tuesday in their Dubrovnik premises in which they hold lectures, workshops, psychotherapy and exchange experiences. “We are fighting the stigma that the disease has on a daily basis, and slowly but surely are moving forward,” concluded Pazin.

On the World Day of Alzheimer's disease the DUSAB association explained their work to the gathered patients, carers and people interested or affected by the disease.

bebe pzin


Photos - DUSAB Facebook 

Within the programme of its Europe Direct Dubrovnik Information Centre and in cooperation with educational institutions and cultural associations, as well as the Albanian consulate, the French consulate, the Hungarian consulate, and the Spanish consulate in Dubrovnik, Europe House Dubrovnik is organizing the European Day of Languages celebration on the 26th of September.

An entertaining and educational programme is set to take place on Monday the 26th of September at 10:30 a.m. in front of the St Blaise Church. Primary and secondary school pupils, college students, representatives of associations, foreign nationals living in Dubrovnik and tourist guides are all partaking in the event, presented by the “Englishman in Dubrovnik,” Mark Thomas. At the same time, the Europe House Dubrovnik's young wandering librarians will sell second hand books in foreign languages in front of the Sponza Palace.

The European Day of Languages initiative was launched by the Council of Europe in 2001 in order to encourage multilingualism and multiculturalism in Europe. Through various events in all European countries, citizens' attention is being drawn to the importance of language learning for better intercultural understanding, at all ages, through formal and informal education. Europe House Dubrovnik is celebrating the European Day of Languages for the third year in a row. Last year's celebration was voted the most innovative event of the 2015 European Day of Languages on the European Day of Languages official website.

Come along to the European Day of Languages in Dubrovnik on the 26th of September at 10.30am in front of the St. Blaise Church and support this worthy event.

daz of languages 1

The second oldest cruise ship in the world docked in the Port of Dubrovnik this morning, the MV Astoria. Constructed back in 1944 and launched in 1946 Astoria has had an eventful history; passing through several owners and now under the control of the UK based company Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV).

During seven decades of services Astoria has been renamed seven times and sailing under the name Stockholm she collided with the Andrea Doria which resulted with the Andrea Doria sinking at 46 passengers and crew losing their lives.

When she was originally launched in the Astoria was the largest ship ever built in Sweden and operated the North Atlantic route between the USA and the UK. Sadly this is cruise to Dubrovnik could be one of the last for the Astoria as it was announced that the final cruise with CMV would be on the 27 April 2017 from London.

astoria dubrovnik cruise

At its meeting held on Tuesday, the 20th of September 2016, the City Council of the city of Sibenik adopted the complete amendments to the General Urban Plan (GUP) of the city area of Sibenik.

With these amendments the area of the Zablace peninsula, the location recently visited by the Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, was marked as a site for a mixed construction of accommodation facilities, reported RTL News.

''At the Zablace peninsula, more precisely at the location from the Mala Solina lake towards the sea, these new amendments to the GUP allow the construction of a hotel and apartment complex as well as the construction of villas with all the supporting infrastructure. The area includes about 50 hectares of land and is expected to be turned into a new ''tourist city'', said Madlena Rosa Dulibic, the head of the Urban Planning Department of the city of Sibenik.

During Brad Pitt’s recent visit to Zablace, accompanied by representatives of a Swiss holding company, it was quite certain that the popular actor was very much interested to become a co-investor, together with his business partners from Switzerland, in the construction of the ’’tourist city”, which value is estimated at nearly two billion Euros.

Thanks to the record breaking figures of Croatian airports this year, more new air carriers with new flights will be over Croatian skies in the near future.

Eurowings, a low cost subsidiary of Lufthansa, has announced the launching of new flights from its new base in Salzburg, Austria to Dubrovnik and Split for the summer season 2017. Flights will be operated twice a week on both routes starting from the 27th of March to Dubrovnik, and a day later to Split i.e. on the 28th of March 2017.

On the other hand, the Irish air carrier Aer Lingus, a subsidiary of International Airlines Group (IAG), has announced its plans to operate flights to Dubrovnik throughout the year. Dubrovnik Airport has already confirmed that the Irish airline, which maintains seasonal flights to Dubrovnik, will operate flights from Dublin throughout the winter.

Apart from local holidaymakers, the Irish carrier has carried a significant number of transfer passengers on the route Dublin-Dubrovnik throughout the whole summer primarily from and to the United States.

These new winter flights will be good news for the Croatian Diaspora in Ireland. As a result, Dubrovnik will become Aer Lingus’s only year-round destination in the country.

EduCentar, the Croatian website specializing in the promotion of educational programs, carried out a survey about reading habits of Croatian citizens in a period of one year.

Around 42 percent of survey participants read more than ten books in one year. Among their favourite genres were political literature, psychology and sociology.

''My goal is to read one book a month, but sometimes I read two'', said one of the survey participants, whilst others said that they read a lot more. ''Rarely a week goes by without reading at least one book'', said book lovers, whilst some of them improved their reading skills to perfection and they read three books a week.

''On average I read three books a month and I think that reading is very important for the development of vocabulary and one's education as well as general knowledge. Those who do not read really don't know what they are missing'', concluded one of the survey participants.

Around 19 percent of the respondents emphasized that they usually read ten books a year or two books a month on average, whilst 12 percent of them read around five books a year just for fun even though they ''would love to have more time for reading''.

A small number of respondents (14%) confessed that they read only three books in one year and stated that ''it is really a devastating figure, but that's the way things are''. One of the respondents commented, ''Let's be honest, I've read only two books in a year while I was on the beach during my summer vacation''.

On the other hand, some of the survey participants stated that they hadn't read any books within a year and that they generally didn't like reading. They consider it ''a waste of time'' because ''nowadays everything can be found on the internet''.

''The vocabulary can be developed in so many other ways, such as communicating with other people'', concluded book non lovers.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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