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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Pleasure Is in the Details

It's a warm late summer evening, the hazy moon is going to bed over Buda, the tiles of the terrace are transmitting warmth to my bare feet. The grasshoppers are singing a song, a motorbike is revving up in the distance. What could one do on such an evening but remember the sea?

We spent some time at the Adriatic Sea this summer and I already wrote about that but I would like to write about those small things that weave the fiber of a pleasurable day and which are rarely mentioned:

1. Preparing and drinking a cold frappe - I am a real coffee addict and I need my two cups of coffee per day. In summer time I prepare something which I call 'frappe' although it is not shaken. It's powder coffee, a bit of cold milk and a bit of very cold water. I used to drink this around two 2 pm when the heat was trodding on the island.

2. Eating a chocolate ice-cream in the heat of the day - I discovered a great 10 kuna chocolate ice cream in Croatia - Macho:-) One of the pleasures of my days was going out in the biggest heat and eating an ice cream.

3. Lying in cool bed sheets reading a book - After having a frappe and an ice cream, it's time for a rest. What wonderful pleasure it is to lie in the cool bed, reading a book, occasional wafts of sea breeze moving the curtain!

4. Diving in the cool water after being hot - There is an aspect of our lives that is unjustly neglected. It doesn't last long but it's memorable. It is the first second after one jumps into the water. Temperature falls and the heated body finds peace again.

5. Watching the sunset over Korcula while sipping local wine – Seen from Mljet, the sun goes down over Korcula. Air is calm, the sky is painted in dozens of hues of rose. The seas are divided in Sunset Seas and Sunrise Seas. The Croatian Adriatic coast is a sunset sea. The Bulgarian Black Sea coast where I used to go as a kid is a Sunrise Sea. That’s a fundamental difference.

6. Lying on the hot cement in the evening, watching the stars and feeling the heat accumulated during the day - every evening after dinner we used to take a leisurely stroll with Jelica, the kids, Ivona and Dusan. We usually went under the same tree by the sea and lay on the cement to watch the sky. The cement - not a really natural substance - was wonderful then, telling a story of a past sunny day by passing a bit of sunshine to us. The stars shone bright above and we were speaking mainly Japanese.

7. Finishing the day with a glass of wine on the terrace – Each day ended around 11 pm with a glass of wine on the terrace and a nice conversation with Dusan, Jelica and Ivona. As the village is quite small we could hear all types of ex-Yugoslav songs filling up the night air for a while.

8. Waking up very early and watching the quiet bay – I slept well by the sea but several times I woke up very early and benefited from that to watch the surreal bay and boats. All things – of organic or inorganic nature – were sleeping.


Red Whortleberry said...


it is funny to read that you consider 2 caps of coffee per day as an addiction. We in North think that addiction starts after 5-6 big caps of coffee.

It is a good point about the sunset and sun rise but I wonder how does it work with the Baltic sea. So far I haven't noticed that the sun sets in a different place then rising up. Of course now in summer it is very hard to decide whether sun still setting or already rising up. The sea is red/yellow/pink all night long. If not cloudy of course.

Jelica said...

Kaidi, I love this line "So far I haven't noticed that the sun sets in a different place then rising up"--neither have I, although I admit what Ruslan wrote sounds really romantic (if inexplicable) :)

Ruslan said...


what do you mean? Of course, the Estonian coast is a sunset coast. I remember so well one sunset in 1987 when we were swimming in the sea next to Tallin at 10 pm and the sun was going down.

Well, addiction is a strong word and I use it as it's very difficult for me without coffee

Red Whortleberry said...

Yes, it is the sunset coast. We go to see it almost every night. But the sun raises also from there or is it just a reflection...?

You swam in Tallinn 87? Loooong time ago....

Plamen said...

I was also puzzled with this phenomenon in Tallinn. There is geography of mind and real geography. You travel and your compass points south but in fact is north. For me Vitosha was always north but in reality lies in the south of Sofia. Tallinn bay faces north and if you are at its left side you could see the sunrise and if at the right side the sunset. But this is again an overall view, at large scale - more than 40 km. coast line, within the big bay there are small bays, so that you see sun on your right, then drive few kilometers without seemingly changing your position towards north and still sun appears on your left. It might be an optical illusion for lost foreigners and other visitors. Estonians are innovative nation. In any case there are islands in Estonia where you could not mix the directions. Just go to sleep at the western side and try to wake up at the eastern side.

I_am_Tulsa said...

Oooooooh, sounds so lovely! I had been wondering where you guys were now that I know I am a bit envious...again!

Ruslan said...

Plamen, waht a nice 'comment'. It is a post in itself. Yes, thinking of it, a coastline is rarely straight and it actually consists of little bays so the relative position to the sun changes. Maybe I was thinking more of the general south-east line of a coast or about the perpendicular to the bottom of the bays:-)

Tulsa, it's good to be back. I've been a lazy bum the past several weeks but I wanted to get away a bit from electronic means of communication.