There's a little shop up the street from us, and its elderly owner is an unfriendly woman whose face is like a fist with unsmiling lips, unsmiling eyes and a potato of a nose on it. We were buying ice-cream from her a few days ago, and she tried to guess where we were from by the language we were speaking.
No. Well, not really. Ukrainians.
At some point, I told her how lovely Croatia was.
She spoke Croatian to us, but I understood her response: yes, it is beautiful, but it is hopeless here, no opportunities.
I tried to protest: but Komiza is such a wonder, a paradise on earth, raj na zemlji.
And she said, with muted anger: right, come here in winter and see - there is nothing.
And I said that I understood exactly what she meant. Because, somehow, I did. Though I would still prefer to spend my winters here, by the sea, than in our part of the world, no matter what.
And then I thought that perhaps it was winter, not all those idiotic politicians, that was actually to blame for so many of our problems.
And I also realized that I would've probably heard the same desperately gloomy opinions on winter from the locals of the Aegean Coast of Turkey - more than once, during the three or four of our wonderful summer visits there - had it not been for the impenetrable language barrier between us.