Wednesday, October 3, 2012

September 26th: Gornji Grad: My New Home

I woke up this Wednesday morning thinking that sharing an apartment with a young, visiting student might lead to late night parties and a loss of productivity so I started thinking I was better off alone. Especially after a whole week of not having my "own" space-I hadn't been able to really unpack in the dorm for fear a roommate would show up and my crap would be everywhere. I realized how much I have grown accustomed to living alone and making things exactly how I like them. With this new found clarity about where and how I wanted to live, I made my first call to an online post for an apartment seeking a tenant in the old city. Instead of using the skills I've been working so hard on the last few years and speaking in Croatian, I opted for the easier, do you speak English? and continued from there. I easily set up an appointment and met an agent to view the apartment at 1pm. I moved in at 5:30pm. Obviously I liked it but hopefully I wasn't just desperate for a place to live. 

The apartment is located in the old part of Zagreb: Gornji Grad, that is comprised of a secular  medieval town Gradec, and the religious medieval town, Kaptol. I now live in Gradec, which according to wikipedia was establish in 1242. This part of the old town is the location of the Croatian government, the Croatian Parliament (the Sabor), St. Mark's Church (perhaps the most recognizable church of Zagreb) several museums, and many other historical treasures. 

I now live on a street that runs up the hill from the main square (Trg Bana Jelačića) and has several tourist shops, small boutiques (including one fulled with earrings that looked like they were all made for me), and several cafes. 

The entry way to the house that holds my apartment has a beautiful wooden gate and right next to a pedestrian path that leads to the other side of the hill. I have a great photo of it but realized if I posted it here, any creep reading this blog would be to find exactly where I live. If you are really that interested in seeing all my photos, I am more than happy to email them to my friends...or I might get around to posting them on Facebook. My favorite part of the place is definitely my terrace. It appears to be the place where everyone dries their laundry but I'm hoping if I sit out here enough (it's where I am now), I will meet all my neighbors. My landlord told me a member of the Sabor lives above me and I think I may have met him today.

My very first house guest was Amy, who had been in a hotel for the embassy orientation and was sticking around for an open house at the Embassy on Thursday. While I had a lot of unpacking to do and a little bit of dusting/cleaning, I enjoyed having her here to share my first night in my place. I even have a television and so far I have most enjoyed watching Prijatelji, Puna Kuća, and Teorija Velikog Praska (Friends, Full House, and The Big Bang Theory respectively). They are all in English with Croatian subtitles so I'm viewing these as an education tool for my language learning. 

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