Tuesday, June 24, 2008


After a generally appealing week in Copenhagen, I've found my way to Croatia's capital city of Zagreb. Nestled in the highlands at an altitude of 2000 meters, it's pretty darn hot and humid here. At least as hot and humid as Maryland, and perhaps as much as SouthEast Asia. Perhaps it's made worse by the fact that I just arrived from a cold and blustery Copenhagen.

My taxi dropped me off at the wrong hotel, allowing me the opportunity (and pain in the ass) of touring the center city with all my baggage in tow. From this short stint, Zagreb seems like an energetic and young city. Optimistic and eager. Granted, it's a superficial characterization and one that will be tested in the days to come.

For first meal, the desk clerk here at the Best Western Hotel Astoria recommended pizza from Capuciner Pizzeria Spaghetteria. I ordered a small pizza for 30 Kunas topped with mushrooms, ham, bacon, cheese and tomato sauce. The crust was nicely done but the toppings were a bit on the heavy side causing the pizza to be a bit on the moist side, but still quite tasty with a Coke.

Tomorrow it's off to Eli's Cafe to visit Croatian Barista Champion Nik Orosi on his home turf and then somewhere to do laundry.

A New Deal, Verdad

There's a saying in the English language: "Don't cut your nose off to spite your face." It's a saying that I haven't tried taking to heart. Until today.

Everyone needs a little voice to help guide them through the pits and falls of navigating relationships. In my case, I need a big "What the fuuuuuck are you doing???" from my voice and I'm glad Syl was there today to throw things back in my face with classic lines such as: "Well, that's not her problem. That's your problem (pendejo)."

It sucks when your voice is without mercy and relentless.

My problem is that I always want to be right. It's a serious design flaw in my genetic makeup. Sure, there could be smoother steps towards resolution and a continuation of a relationship, but I'm determined to be right and I'm ready to prove it - even willing to end and destroy a relationship completely in my pursuit of winning (it's that winner takes all and unless you've won you've lost kind of mentality).

It's dumb, stupid and childish and I absolutely refuse to calculate how many relationships I've wiped out because of it.

What makes it worse is when your opponent is relatively a mirrored reflection of your own personality and character flaws because as the two of us rush headfirst in a game of chicken, expecting the other to blink and give in, the only thing that happens is a horrific crash where each of us is wrong and neither wants to admit it.

With the help of La Voz, I decided today that I would be the one to blink. I'll give in. I won't pursue the "I'm right" line because, in the end, complete and utter destruction is not what I really want - it's what happens because I'm too blinded by fear to see it coming.

So today begins with a New Deal. I've gone ahead and put my egotism aside. Admittedly, it's not the deal that I really wanted. It's by no means ideal. The deal I wanted to push would have achieved everything I wanted but not what she wanted or was ready for. Today's deal gives us the hope for a new beginning - and maybe that will be enough for two Ariens (who are both always right) to have a fresh start.