Things are moving at quite a pace. I was teaching English to Elena this morning. I say "teaching," but actually she falls asleep and then chats about life and the universe and her devotion to parsley. It's more like a therapy session. Any English that she learns is purely accidental.
Just as she was leaving, the first of four visitors arrived to view the place. Joze put the advertisement in only yesterday but such is the voracious appetite for people to live where they are not living now. I made mental notes about all of them and later, Joze and Marta came in to ask me what I thought.
"The gay lads would be quiet. Hopefully. The couple who were 3 months pregnant would be a bad choice because the apartment isn't suited to someone only 18 inches long. The single man talked too much and the final couple were entirely wrong. She looked poisonous, Shakespearean, and he would be the instrument by which she would perform her underhand deeds."
I didn't use those words, but that was my summation. Tomorrow there are yet more coming. I'm rather enjoying the people-watching, I have to say. I own only two cups because I have few visitors and today was the busiest it's ever been. And the terrifying choice of picking one is ultimately not my problem. I'm glad of that because I wouldn't know who to choose.
That was Day 3 of the post-signature era. Back in the dawn of the Slovenian era, some four years ago, I had just seen Tatiana for the first time. I saw her a few more times over the coming months and gave her little thought. She was another nice thing in a land of nice things. Married, children, a desire for freshly squeezed milk. I knew nothing of her life beyond the immediately obvious. I didn't know then what I know now.
And so it was with a great deal of surprise that one day I saw her on her bike and I said, "Ah, there she is!" Blimey. Where did that come from? I remember it still. Completely out of nowhere and totally unexpected, I saw another human being and stopped dead in my tracks.
I pondered this reaction. There was no plan, no artifice, no earlier musings on seeing her again. No, I was wandering along the road in my usual aimless way and was knocked down by a truck-load of surprise. She was on a bike, all the way over there, going shopping.
I did nothing of course, except to wonder why it happened.
Some months later, toward the end of summer, I was invited to a barbecue with Don and his Slovenian "adopted" family and I asked if there was an opera house in Ljubljana. "Yes," was the incredible answer to that question. I was in real need of culture because I like cows, I really do, but while many people would choose cows over opera, I'm not one of them.
"Then I shall go!" I said triumphantly.
I then realized that I only have clothes for dog-walking or climbing mountains. It's possible that opera audiences in Ljubljana wear bobble hats but I doubted it, and I wondered if I would go buy clothes just to satisfy my need for a bit of Verdi. No. I wouldn't.
...unless it was so magical an event that it trumped my reluctance to look smart. What if me, a boy who grew up in a tatty part of a tatty town in a council house way too small, found himself at the opera in the beautiful city of Ljubljana accompanied by a quite spectacular Russian. For that I would buy new clothes.
"Do you think Tatiana's husband would kill me if I asked his wife to the opera?"
So off I went to find him. I mean, it couldn't hurt to ask, could it?
[ps...Have you tried the Armchair Detective Challenge yet?]
Slovenia, writing, other things