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That was the decade that was - a look back at the highs of lows of the decade behind us

By  Jan 04, 2020

Welcome to a new decade! Forget New Year’s resolutions, it’s time to make decade resolutions.

The last Christmas of the twenty-tens is behind us, the turkey has been digested and the presents probably already forgotten or on sale on e-bay. We now move forward into the “twenties,” presumably a decade that won’t be as crazy as one hundred years ago when the 1920’s where known as the “Roaring Twenties” or the “Années folles.”

A lot has happened in this last decade; ten years is a long time. On a global scale we have seen not one but two Royal weddings, global warming causing havoc – from the Icelandic eruption of Eyjafjallajokull that shut down the world’s airlines in 2010 to the Fukushima earthquake just a year later that killed over 15,000 people in Japan. We saw the launch of the very first iPad, the explosion of one-hit wonders thanks mainly to YouTube, starting with Gangnam Style in 2012, we also were bombarded with various online challenges that went viral for a few weeks and then died, remember the ice bucket challenge or the bottle cap challenge.

In 2014 a Malaysian flight went missing never to be seen again, in 2015 the US made same sex marriage legal, we had children (and adults) searching for Pokémon Go and the rise of populism politics with a former reality star becoming President of the most powerful country in the world. What a difference ten years makes, in January 2010 at the very start of the decade, Barack Obama was only one year into his US presidency, Instagram hadn't yet been invented and the word Brexit had never been uttered. A decade is a long time, and not just in politics.

It has been a decade that has seen over twenty wars around the world, from civil wars to invasions. So more than two wars every years during a decade of unrest as man’s stupidity continues to wreak havoc. One day we might learn, but I sadly doubt it.

On a more local level Croatia started the decade outside of the European Union, had only been a full member of NATO for one year and Mesić was still the President. But one thing that doesn’t move quite as fast is the legal system, Sanader was arrested for corruption in Austria in 2010 but it took almost until the end of the decade before he was finally sentenced. It was a decade that saw a tiny country with a population of around 4 million compete in a football championship in a country with 144 million and come second to a country with 67 million.

As far as sport is concerned 2018 was a difficult year to beat. Although the country’s women were just as successful, with Blanka Vlašić named the European athlete of the year in 2010 and then Sandra Perković out-throwing the whole world. And on an even more local level we have seen the start of the Chinese building our largest infrastructure project ever, the Peljesac Bridge, a project that was first thought of in 1997, yes bridges are just as slow as the law courts in Croatia. We all rode the Game of Thrones wave, that started back in 2012, and then jumped revelled in the limelight of all the other film and serials using Dubrovnik as a background. Just how many times have we seen Dubrovnik on the screen this decade? It certainly changed the direction of our tourism industry that’s for sure. We have also seen bucket loads of media attention for cruise ship overcrowding, snow caused roads to close on two occasions and the reopening of the iconic cable car (yes, it was only reopened this last decade.)

So what will this new ten-year period bring us? Who can say. Nostradamus believes that we will see political and environmental turmoil. I believe he is probably correct this time. From Brexit to the US election in 2020, and Croatia will start the decade with a new, or maybe new/old President. The climate will continue to dominate all our thoughts and the planet will continue to fight back.

So start making those New Year and New Decade resolutions and always remember let go of yesterday, let today be a new beginning and be the best that you can, and you'll get to where you want to be.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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