Tuesday 1 March 2016

A Window on the World

You know this thing I have about looking out of windows? Sadly the cabin we had been allocated on the Ancona - Split ferry was an internal one, so we had spent most of the night like pieces of freight. We were even stacked on bunk beds, which had involved a climb up a ladder and some serious knicker exposure to her below. I was desperately hoping that there would be no bolt upright moments because I would have brained myself on the smoke alarm. After some of that Montepulciano red, I was also hoping there would be no toilet trips in the night.

Inevitably it was a bit of a trial staying asleep on a rolling ship, especially when I had been so excited previously. However one particular violent roll made my tummy swoop and I woke up properly. Simultaneously we both exclaimed, ‘shall we go up on deck?’

Which is why at 5.30am, rather than looking out of a salty porthole, we were standing outside in the fresh sea scented semi darkness. The dark clouds were still obscuring the true dawn, but even as we stood there, it was getting lighter. I had an odd sense of déjà vu; mid-May last year had seen me sitting on the beach excitedly waiting for the sun to come up on a Croatian beach. It was the same feeling of pleasurable anticipation. The lights and outline of the coast were now visible and, more importantly we had phone signal to actually see where we were. There was another hour or so before we docked so it was time for change of clothes, shower and coffee.

I say clean clothes. I had none left.
I say shower, it was the entire bathroom.

Still, I smelt presentable, and good foundation made me look as if I’d had an excellent night’s sleep.

We went in search of coffee and breakfast, and there was obviously a window to peer out of. By this time I was most definitely getting twitchy. Relaxed for most of the trip, I’d had a first sense of disquiet and upheaval, and sadly it manifested itself by being impatient with the poor driver. She just wanted to finish her coffee and I was bouncing around. To be fair I had tummy ache – probably something to do with the swooping ship earlier, or Italian water was full of animalcules. Still. No excuses.

We finally drove off the ferry and into a chaotic melange of passport control and official windows; both of us got impatient at this point. I also had been corresponding with my lovely landlady who was waiting for us after the port’s blue gates. I was again getting anxious about keeping her out in the rain. Once we were out, she saw us and popped her head in the window – sadly we had no room in the contrary Clio to give her a lift back to the apartment.

After negotiating Split at rush hour – we’d shrieked at the sea-yness of the place, gone round a roundabout twice, confused a bus, and been in the wrong lane twice – we parked up at Marjanski Put and offered up a thanks to satnavs and google maps. Because…

I had a home!

My new home was everything I hoped it would be. Clean, quiet, with all conveniences – not to mention a platter of homemade comestibles. And a kitchen window seat that overlooks my little terrace, with another window seat upstairs. I also seem to have a friendly dog, who lies in wait on my doorstep, and looks hopeful when I cook. I am about a 5 minute walk into the centre of town and more importantly, a few minutes from a little store and a launderette. Milk and bread and clean knickers, sorted.

My first piece of business today was going to see the people at the university. I’m not sure what had happened but somehow I thought that today was the 2nd March. The wise one gently hinted that it wasn’t. After I’d been up there and tried to register. Never mind, as long as I know that I need to be up there at 9.30 on Thursday. Why on earth am I doing this language malarkey?! Oh that’s it, so I don’t sound like such an idiot…

The rest of the day we spent wandering around, peering into shop windows, looking out at the various panoramas, and meandering around my local park. I had promised the tired one a bar but it had been delayed somewhat, however, when we did arrive, it was well deserved and we had a lovely few hours writing and chatting. The view from the window there showed a tiny view of the City of Split. The poor bar man finally told us that it had shut an hour previously and we were holding him up. We left him a large tip – after all I want to make this beautiful spot my local!

We returned to my little house via the supermarket for some dinner ingredients. Pasta and a tomato/bacon/mushroom sauce washed down with the rest of the Montepulciano red. Sat by the open window, we could hear the town go about its evening business.

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