Texts

These are some of my favourite texts. They are found in the original form, as I wrote them, without editor's intervention, cuts and changing. Titles/headlines were chosen by editors. Most of the texts have been translated from Croatian to English by Erika Kožić.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CARNIVAL CUSTOMS IN MEĐIMURJE
National Geographic Croatia, February 2010

For quite a while now, the fertile soil has been frozen under the snow. The days are getting longer, however, and the sun shines in an increasingly higher arc, radiating the white plains with an optimism of its new awakening. ... ( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MAR MUSA – Oasis of Peace in the Syrian Desert
Meridijani, December 2009

“Ahlan wa sahlan! Ahlan wa sahlan wa marhaba!” Father Paolo would thunder hoarsely each time a newcomer would appear on the terrace of the stone monastery Mar Musa. Like a fortress, it rises from a cliff along a dry riverbed and watches over a great expanse of the Syrian Desert. He would then immediately drop whatever he is doing and rush to welcome his new guest. ... ( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DAMASCUS - The oldest city in the world TODAY
Meridijani, October 2009

While on my first visit to Damascus seven years ago, I immediately knew that I would return one day. The first time I went, I had journeyed for five months by bicycle from Zagreb to Damascus just to feel with my legs how far away it is. ...
( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MOREŠKA – The Last Authentic Sword Dance in the Mediterranean
National Geographic Croatia, August 2009

On the stone stage at the base of the city walls that encircle Korčula’s old town, an all-time ceremonial drama begins. A figure dressed in a black Baroque costume, the black king, brings forth the bula, a lady shackled in chains, and asks her to go with him. ... ( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BOSNIAN DERVISHES
National Geographic Croatia, June 2009
Coauthor: Nina Skorup

Sarajevo was embraced by an autumn sunset. Sheikh Halil Hulusi Nakshibendi, the spiritual leader of the Nakshibendian tekija in Mejtaš, set on the southern point of this dervish temple of unification and prayer of heart, facing Mecca. ...
( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SINJ – from Alka to Lady
Meridijani, February 2008

Early in the morning, a loud, rasp sound woke me from my sleep. From the hill that rises over the city of Sinj, cannons called “mačkule” started to fire like crazy. Whoever was still asleep, must have been awake by now. I looked out the window at Sinj’s promenade and realized that I was the only one that “mačkule” have awakened. The city had already been up for quite some time! I walked out to the street on which City music cheerfully played reveille songs. The most festive day of the year had began - the day of Sinj’s Alka ... ( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SEX-TOURISM IN THAILAND
Globus, July 2007

Since the night fell, Pattaya has changed its face. It started to glimmer in red, it rose up and started to dance. Loud, “trash” pop is coming from local bars but tourists don’t seem to mind. They are attracted to lustful visuals and as they pass in front of the bars girls are screaming at them. They are lured, an easy targets. Exotic beauties of the Far East, traditionally skilled nymphomaniac, caring and sensible whores, decadent courtesans ... ( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE RAINBOW TRIBE
Geo, December 2007

There were sheep skins laying on the floor of the Indian tipi and a fire burning in the middle. Smoke rose high up for 7, 8 meters and then went out through the hole which had sunset light coming through it. Little by little, barefooted and longhaired people started to enter through the tipi doors. When the room filled up, a tall man took a stick in his hands and silenced the murmur with a calm and deep voice: “I called this council so it is up to me to start the story!” ... ( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – FROM STONE AGE TO THE PARLIAMENT
Meridijani, June 2007

Papua New Guinea is probably the most undeveloped and most traditional country in the world today. Just seventy years ago, one gold digger reached an unknown mountain massif while exploring new possibilities for finding gold. There, he discovered more than a million people practically still living in the Stone Age. They still hadn't discovered things like writing, wheel, metal, and hadn't had a clue that beyond their mountains there lay a different, modern, «developed» world. 40 years later, these same people got their political independence, formed a parliament and had to run their country according to the principles of a modern democracy ...
( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WILD CETINA – CROATIAN ADRENALIN
National Geographic Adventurer, May 2008

“Are we ready?” I ask the boys for the last time.
“Yes, yes” they reply as though the task ahead of us was a mere walk in the park.
“I apologize for being boring, but as I already said, once we enter those rapids there’s no going back. Cetina enters the canyon, there are no other access paths and god only knows what awaits us!” ... ( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CROATIA ON FIRE
National Geographic Croatia, June 2008

The sun had risen for the third time, but Zoran Grljević and his colleagues were not refreshed in the morning. Instead of resting, they lit up a new cigarette and continued to wait. "It will arrive soon; just ten more minutes, and it’s here!" said Zoran almost inaudibly; his voice was painfully hoarse, after the two past nights of intensive shouting. The boys had T-shirts on that said: Dubrovnik Fire Brigade ...
( complete text )

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AGORI - KALI WORSHIPERS, ALCOHOL, SEX AND CEMETERY LIFE CONSUMING SAINTS
Večernji list, September 2004

If somebody would have told you about the people who exaggerate with alcohol and drugs, who live at cemeteries, eat human flesh and have sexual intercourse with dead bodies you would definitely think those people are crazy, Satanists or at least mentally ill. But if they live in India they are called Aghori, more than billion Hindus appreciate them as holly men, and their 'filthy' deeds are not repulsive and pervert but welcome and respect deserving ... ( complete text )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CROATS BUILD KABUL
National Geographic Croatia, May 2004

Afghanistan's capital Kabul, the city on the river with the same name, at the altitude of 1800m, what makes it one of the highest capitals in the world, is not a favourite tourist destination nowadays. It is still de facto war affected area, but a big construction site as well. And among the builders of new Kabul, Croats play the important role ... ( complete text )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

GUATEMALA - IN THE SEARCH FOR THE MAYAS
Meridijani, September 2005

While we travel in the decayed bus down the bumpy earth roads of Guatemala, I think about where I am. Far in the midst of Central America civilization slowly tightens the last core of wilderness. In neighboring Mexico all of the wild forest was already cut, and the same thing happens here, in Peten, in a northernmost region of Guatemala ... ( complete text )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

BOLIVIJA - IN THE LAND OF TOROMONAS
Playboy, March 2006

"450, I can't count anymore!" my friend cried, while his face drew painful grimaces under unbearable tropical sun. He stopped counting mosquito bites on his legs, indifferently, as if he wasn't bothered at all, and failed backwards exhausted. Our rubber boat slowly floated on the calm part of the river. We have just got out of Puerta de diabolo - The devil's gate, the most difficult part of the river Tuichi in one of the remotest parts of Bolivia ... ( complete text )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SAINTS ON THE WORLD'S BIGGEST FESTIVAL
Večernji list, August 2004

First I heard drums, then trumpets, then screams. Procession of hundreds ascetics, was pushing its way through excited crowds that waited for it the whole night. First rays of the rising sun marked the beginning of Shahi Snan, the royal ritual bath in holy waters of Shipra in Ujjain, India. When procession reached Ramgat, place where gods dropped nectar of immortality, holy man had already fallen into trance. "Shivaaa!!! Shivaaa!!! A dwarflike man screamed ... ( complete text )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

O.P.33520 ARABERI OF VIŠNJICA
National Geographic Hrvatska, February 2005

The winter night in the Slatina region starts and ends early. One goes to bed already after 8 p.m. There is nothing to do during the day so there are no stories around the fire at night. The sleepy mood carries on into the gray morning. The sun has been gone for days under the low gray clouds. The wheat and barley have been planted, and the harvest was finished long ago. So have been the pig-slaughter and the wood-chopping. The region that lives from agriculture has fallen into the winter sleep ... ( complete text )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MASS TOURISM - GLOBAL THREAT TO THE LOCAL CULTURES
Večernji list, November 2004

The number of tourists in the world is constantly growing. To Croatians this trend is almost unknown, so apart from rich people or few ambitious young adventurers there is no many Croatians who travel out of Europe. The term 'backpacker' has been slowly introduced in Croatia recently. In west Europe, US, Australia or Japan almost every youngster is a backpacker. He works and studies throughout the whole year, and then takes his backpack and travel the world. Escapism in the West is not the illness but norm ... ( complete text )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MOSTAR'S FLYERS
Vjesnik, August 2005

Summer sun was striking well on the Sunday's afternoon, so just one glimpse to the green Neretva below the new Old Bridge in Mostar was refreshing. 15 000 people filled the steep shores of the river, the roofs of nearby stone houses and small beaches to witness the unique spectacle - jumping from the bridge competition ...
( complete text )

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

HAVE TIBETANS ACCEPTED THE CHINESE?
Večernji list, October 2004

Tourist agencies throughout the world, and those in Croatia as well, that offer remote, exotic journeys, call the customers to unforgettable trip to Tibet, ultimate adventure in last spiritual corner of the world. The main promotional power of that idea is intact, wild nature on the 'roof of the world', amazingly hospitable and friendly people, spiritually rich Buddhist culture and exotic architecture of the Tibetan places. Lucky people that can afford at least $3000 for 20 day package can get disappointed only on the spot, because those slogans describe Tibet before Chinese, Tibet half a century ago. And contemporary Tibet offers a completely different picture ... ( complete text )