Tuesday, 27 October 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

Balloons and clown, elves and Dance Studio Lazareti, Linđo, Christmas songs, a lot of cakes - that is a short description of Cake Party that will be held on Saturday from 11 am on Stradun, just around Orlando. 

Traditional ninth, humanitarian and fun party for children as well as older fans of sweet will be a delight to visitors who will have the opportunity to show their generosity. By purchashing the voucher of 15 kuna they will enjoy cakes and help the Association of multiple sclerosis Dubrovnik-Neretva County. This association is known to the public - it has a transporter that, except that it is used for the members of the Association, helps immobile tourists to visit Dubrovnik cultural and historical sights. Association needs wheelchair, so we need to join forces and help them get this essential tool!

We are proud to be the part of the sweetest party this year. Don't miss the chance to try our cake this Saturday, at 11 am.

For a complete arrangement of the first phase of the Lapad Coast reconstruction - from municipal harbor Batala to the building of the Faculty, City of Dubrovnik provided 18 million kuna in the budget for 2017. Work on the first phase of reconstruction can begin immediately after the adoption of the budget and the completion of the tender procedure and be carried out next year. You can see how the Lapad Coast is supposed to look like in the video simulation. Project includes widening the road, sidewalk on both sides of the road, new parking sites and infrastructure and landscape arrangement in the whole area.

Great news for Croatian inventions again! The biggest online store Amazon is interested in selling a smart umbrella from Croatia, the so called ''Kisha''.

The ''Kisha'' is a smart umbrella designed by the Kisha start-up from Rijeka, Croatia which is manufactured in the plant of the largest domestic umbrella manufacturer ''Hrvatski kisobran'' from Zapresic near Zagreb.

Six months ago the ''Kisha'' appeared in lots of famous Western media such as Forbes, Wired, The Daily Mail and Adweek, whilst the first line of 1,000 pieces the Croatian start-up sold out in less than three months.

The latest edition of the Business Insider unofficial Goldman Sachs gift guide for 2016in buying Christmas gifts i.e. ''the things a man wants but feels guilty buying for himself, as well as the things he needs but probably doesn’t even know it'', the Croatian invention found its place on this prestigious Christmas gift list.

As the author John LeFevre in the section ''Gifts for his travels'' wrote: ''The globetrotting gadabout needs this classic Tusting Waxed Canvas Weekend bag ($775), a universal MacBook charging station ($45) that includes 4 USB ports, a Kisha smart umbrella ($100) that tells you when it's going to rain, and this Urban Carry G2 concealed, quick drawholster (%105).''

What makes the Kisha umbrella so special and smart? This is an umbrella one will never misplace or lose. For its work and the full potential it uses a smart phone because it has a built-in Bluetooth transmitter with which the umbrella and the smart phone connect. There is also a great application that one has to install on his smart phone. This app warns about the rain what makes the umbrella a perfect weather forecaster and signalizes every time one moves away from or forgets his umbrella.

The Croatian smart umbrella is a 100 %windproof, a 100 % corrosion-proof, and is crafted with the perfect stitching, flexible and strong wires. It has an opening and closing mechanism one will want to use over and over again.

I was more than ready to leave home at 18. By the time I was a senior in high school; I couldn’t stand my hometown anymore and was itching for a change. I never really second guessed my decision to move to Chicago, because in America it’s normal to pack your bags for college and start a new chapter. Leaving was of course an adjustment, but it was always something I knew I needed to do.

In America, parting ways with home is seen as a necessary part of growing up. To say “he’s still living at home in his mom’s basement” somehow became synonymous for being unsuccessful, and our culture seemed to follow along.

Coming to Croatia was the first time I truly saw this cultural norm turn upside down. I noticed as most of my Croatian classmates were in their mid to late twenties, attending college while still living at home. Most of them had jobs of their own to pay for college and other living expenses. Most were still living in the house they grew up in. Many had never left.

It seems in Europe that living at home is much more common and even more so in Dubrovnik, perhaps. Of course, I have friends in the United States who live at home but the majority left for good. While some studied or worked elsewhere in Croatia or Europe, many young adults in Dubrovnik seem to always come back.

I have experienced this cultural contrast while living with my boyfriend and family for the past several months. I’ll admit it: at first it felt strange for me to be living at home again. I missed having my own space. Coordinating cooking, sleeping, and car-sharing schedules with other family members was new to me. But as I became warmer to this adjustment, I began to understand and respect this culture custom.

It’s very important for people in Dubrovnik to be close to family. Even those that moved elsewhere express they will surely return to start a family. Thus, Dubrovnik’s cultural roots run deep with locals. Living at home truly takes a lot patience and coordination from all family members, and it’s not always the easy solution.

But honestly, it seems many young adults don’t have much of a choice, even if they wanted to leave. It’s difficult to establish yourself in Croatia, which is why many people don’t move until after getting married. Living at home is often a stepping-stone in order to build financial stability.

I can now say I’ve had a taste of both sides of this cultural phenomenon. But is one better than the other? Comparing leaving home in America to living at home in Croatia is like comparing apples to oranges. Both have completely different cultural and economic complexities, so to look at Croatia through an American lens is nothing but ignorant.

I’ve heard echoes in Dubrovnik that Croatia is a nation of “mama’s boys”. Yes, I do know both men and women who are very close to their mothers in Croatia, which I think is a good thing. Yes, I know several people have their moms doing the laundry, cooking, and cleaning for them. In retrospect, I know many Americans whose parents coddle them just as much, even when they live outside the house. I’ve seen several Croatians who are extremely successfully and self-sufficient while living with their parents. So, to assume everyone who lives at home is a mama’s boy (or girl) seems to be a false narrative.

Every time an American raises an eyebrow when I say my boyfriend still lives with his family, I find myself growing more defensive. Not just for his sake, but also for the culture they haven’t taken the time to understand.

Through my time in Croatia I’ve somehow gained a new appreciate for my hometown I was so eager to get out of. It’s made me appreciate my roots and how important my family is to me. For the first time in five years, I’ve started to miss living at home myself.

Alexandra Schmidt, also known as The Mindful Mermaid, is a globetrotting writer and travel blogger, who finds her self always coming back to Dubrovnik. She was raised in St. Paul, Minnesota and later moved to Chicago to study at Loyola University. She first came to Dubrovnik when she studied at Dubrovnik International University, and has returned to Dubrovnik several times since. She’s a mermaid-obsessed yogi, who passes her time playing guitar, exploring the great outdoors, and planning her next adventure. To find out more about Alex, you can visit her website or Facebook page.


November proved to be a bumper month for Dubrovnik tourism. A combination of the milder weather, more flight connections and increasing festive events has attracted more tourists to Dubrovnik in off-season.

A grand total of 26,511 tourist arrivals were recorded in November in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County which is an impressive 33 percent increase when compared to the same month last year. And in November the county achieved 72,592 overnight stays, an increase of 34 percent compared to November 2015.

From the beginning of 2016 to the end of November the county has seem 643,683 tourists arriving, which again is an increase this time by ten percent.

The most numerous tourists in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County have been from the United Kingdom, followed by tourists from Germany, Poland, France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the United States and Italy.

With the support of the US government and the Armed Forces of the United States the remaining eleven OH-58D Kiowa Warrior military helicopters were delivered to the Croatian Air Force base in Zemunik on the 3rd of December as part of the project of equipping the Croatian Armed Forces with reconnaissance and combat helicopters.

In a press release the Croatian Ministry of Defence said that five helicopters had been delivered by the end of this July thus this delivery completed the shipment of a total of sixteen Kiowa Warrior helicopters with which a squadron of helicopters in Zemunik would be equipped.

Apart from the helicopters all spare parts and equipment arrived again aboard the US C-5 Galaxy, one of the biggest military transport aircraft in the world.

The Kiowa Warrior helicopters were manufactured in the period from 2010 to 2012 and were introduced into operational use between 2012 and 2015. According to the Ministry of Defence, the helicopters come with a standard set of weapons, optical-electronic sensors and radio communication and navigation equipment.

The training of Croatian pilots on the Kiowa Warrior helicopters has not yet begun. It is most likely that they will be trained by American instructors.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister thanked Andrej Plenkovic, his Croatian counterpart for the assistance Croatia provided in fighting wildfires in Israel two weeks ago.

In a message he sent to Plenkovic Netanyahu emphasized Croatia's readiness to response immediately to his request for help which only testified the quality of Plenkovic's leadership and strong friendly relations between these two countries.

''Your assistance was valuable in fighting the wildfires and preventing any further damage being caused'', said Netanyahu in the message, adding that he would like to express his sincere gratitude to the Croatian team who fought against the forest fires shoulder to shoulder with Israeli fire-fighters.

Just to remind you, last month the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanjahu contacted the Greek Prime Minister and the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic asking for an air assistance in fighting forest fires that broke out in northern and central Israel.

Both countries responded immediately. At the proposal of the Croatian Minister of Defence and with the consent of the Croatian president two Canadair CL-415 planes were sent to help fighting wildfires in Israel.

The Croatian Prime Minister Plenkovic once again thanked the Croatian team for its courage and unselfish dedication in helping the Israeli people.

- Welcome to Croatia, an open digital library- the first country in the world that is completely free reading zone – it's written on the page Croatia Reads on Facebook

Croatia Reads is a project by the Free Reading Zones initiative, which supports free access to books and knowledge around the world.
These holidays in Croatia top 100,000 books from all over the world are available for free reading anywhere within its borders, without membership cards or special codes, not only for Croatian citizens, but also for visitors that come to Croatia. Handful of books from all over the world in various languages is available during the holidays.

All you need to do is download the free app Croatia Reads (Hrvatska čita) for Android or iOS smartphones and tablets.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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