note: the following travel posts are mostly observational and all non fiction and written in buses and will be further polished and developed. that's why they might not be good.
15 may - zadar, croatia
it's dalmatian. the cigarettes are so cheap they're almost free. i sit on the base of the statue outside of the bus station and a man in a sporty polo and sandals bursting with toes approaches me and expects one -- he doesn't ask. i comply and offer my lighter. he pats his breast pocket. maybe i owed him one in another life. i silently thank him for his patience.
there's sand and hay-colored grass. i hardly understand any words.
there is so much coast it doesn't seem valued. it stretches at a glance. the islands pepper the sea close to the mainland. they grow into green hills. zadar is not crowded and relatively sparse. the bus station is lively and plays a variety of pop music -- late 90s outkast, beach boys, 'hey, soul sister,' ac/dc, snoop dogg.
near the highways there is substantial rubble that looks like a result of recently built homes. just a few kilometers out of the station, the landscape shifts quickly rural -- greens, lines of crops, caravans, huts. the olive trees are starkly pale aqua.
the headlights of cars
light up the hills like they are
looking for something
villages built on the side of mountains plunge into the coast. i pass brightly lit churches boat houses, safe houses, wood peeking out of ruins, and caves abutting the water.
on a two lane highway, lights flash on the side of the road.
a boy bounds towards the bus in short blue shorts, barefoot. he runs gingerly across the rocks and is smiling widely.
the bus pulls over and he continues to run. it is quarter to midnight. a young man, early twenties, dark skin, shaved head, exits the bus with a bag over his shoulder. the shorted boy embraces him and walk away together, blue shorted still gingerly.