24 February 2013

Yup, it snows here.

Here's a shot taken just YESTERDAY.  That's snow on the ground.  Lots and lots and lots of it (we ended up with about 25cm).  This zima has been particularly cold, grey, rainy, and snowy.  What you can't see in the picture are the 35kph bura winds.  Brrrrrr.

A word to the wise:  if you are thinking of moving here, make sure your accommodations have really good heating for the winter months.  And if you've got a car....get snow tires.  You'll seriously be glad that you did.

And now, time for some nice hot kavu by the fire. 

10 February 2013

Mmmm, tastes like chicken.

Our little Peeper is almost 10 months old and growing like a weed.  Her most favourite thing in the entire world is plush stuffed doggy toys.  She LOVES them in a way that is almost supernatural.

Above is a picture with her latest acquisition:  Mr. Chicken.  He's got squeaky things in his feet, his head and a special one in his tummy.  Peeper goes insane with joy when she gets Mr. Chicken to squeak.  Mr. Chicken joins her corral of other toys:  Boo-berry, Mr. Ropey, Witchy, Piggy, Donut and Squirrel.

While she goes through yet another teething period, I make sure she's got lots and lots of things to chew on so she'll never need to chew on our shoes (which BTW sit about a meter from her bed and she never touches them!)

08 February 2013

Sorry Mrs. L

Sometimes language difficulties are funny.  Sometimes, not so much.  Recently, I had one of those not-so-much events.

First off, a bit of language explanation.  The words for hot and cold in Croatian are:  toplo (hot), hladno (cold).  I don't have trouble remembering toplo because they have these toplo springs here (hot springs) and the word toplo just naturally sticks in my brain as hot/warm.

But hladno is another story.  In my brain, I associate hladno with hot.  No matter what, there it is.  I think it is because in English, we don't have too many words starting with the letter 'h' and hot is one of those words.  Also, whenever you see a water tap in English, they'll have an 'h' for hot, and a 'c' for cold.  So again the 'h' means hot for me.

So, a few weeks ago, my kindly, nicest, friendliest neighbour, Mrs. L, came by for a quick visit and I made us some coffee.  I personally like to drink my espresso with a little extra hot water and I always ask people if they want extra water in their coffee.  Mrs. L said she'd love some, please...but some hladno water.  So, I went off and poured extra boiling water in her coffee.  And she, thinking I had added extra cold water to cool the coffee,  took a huge slurp.  And just about had a heart attack.

I was mortified to my soul.  Poor Mrs. L was very gracious about it, but it was just one of those moments that drives home how very important it is to learn, understand, and be aware of this language in a more fluent way.  I'm getting there (not as fast as I'd like, but I'm going in the right direction). 

I just gotta figure out how to remember that hladno is cold.  Somehow.

04 February 2013

Orange. Crunchy. Loved by rabbits.

The Croatian language has lots of words that are identical except for one letter.   For example:

ljudi (people)  /   ludi (crazy)  This one gets me into trouble quite a bit.

pisati (to write)   /   piĊĦati  (to, um, urinate)  This one also gets me into trouble every time.

mrtva (dead)   /   mrkva  (carrot)

This last one made for an awkward moment when I was talking to someone about the economy.  I thought I was sounding pretty intelligent, saying that the economy around the world was dead but I believed that it would recover soon.  But turns out I was saying that the economy was a carrot.


It did give me a great idea for a new invention for expats with language issues:  a remote control device that can be carried in a pocket on a key chain.  When a major language boo-boo occurs, the expat can press the remote control, triggering a tiny wormhole to open up, transporting said expat back 26 seconds and allowing the expat enough time to use the proper word in the conversation or avoid the word altogether.

Hey, a girl can dream  ;-)