Life on the Mekong and Other Rivers

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


We took the train from Ljubljana to Zagreb. 2 hours to relax, maybe take a nap. Turns out, naps were out of the question as the train was just too exciting.

On the outskirts of Ljubljana, we passed a bunch of buildings that had graffiti all over them. In one of the whitest countries I've ever been, the two most prominent things spray painted were:

1. 50 Cent, more like 5 Cents.

Ouch! Okay, I'm white, and I like some songs by 50 Cent. I guess some Slovenian might feel strong enough to tag a wall with a negative message about him.

2. L.A. N*ggaz

That one I didn't get.

At an underpass near a park we went to, there was also a large message for what many would consider an important social justice goal. I just didn't know that some Slovenians felt so strongly. Nevertheless, at least one Slovenian owns a can of spray paint and wants to


We arrived in Zagreb and were met by Patrick, his husband Rami (Rami is Canadian so they were able to legally marry in Canada) and their kids Canaan and Maya. Our two days in Zagreb were hampered a bit by some rain and mostly cloudy weather. But that didn't stop us from enjoying their excellent apartment smack dab in the center of town.

A little snack time.

Jack spent an inordinate amount of time in Maya's 'kitchen'. He would disappear a few times every day and we'd find him hard at work, all by himself. Here it appears he is making a milkshake or something in the blender.

We did get out and about too. We had lots of fun chasing pigeons in the main square of the city.

And spent a few hours wandering around a lovely cemetery. It's actually quite nice, in that christians, muslims, and jews are all allowed to be buried there. In death, I guess, we can all get along.

First post-Yugoslavia president Franjo Tudjman is buried here too in a very martial-looking black marble gravestone, just behind the grand main entrance.

Patrick and I were roommates way back when we were both local hires at the Embassy in Moscow in 1995. 13 years later and we are high-flying diplomats, leading America and the world to a brighter future...or something. It was nice to reconnect with him and to have our families get to know each other.

Plus, they just closed on a fixer-upper on the Italian Adriatic coast, so we'll need to inspect that at some point.


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