“So, why did the Denver Nuggets get rid of Carmelo Anthony?”

Okay, we’ll spare you all of the details of our move from Lucca, Italy to Split, Croatia. Like the owners of our Lucca apartment insisting on taking us and our luggage to the train station, just two days after Christmas and their personal delivery to us of a traditional Panettone cake and bottle of sparkling wine. Or, the conductor in Prato helping lift our bags onto the train and making sure we knew how to make the change to the “fast train” in Bologna that would take us to the port city of Ancona. Or, the Jeremy Irons look-a-like desk clerk at the Ancona hotel located across from the station who insisted we venture to the center of the city to find anything decent to eat and he was so right and it was so good.

But, by the time we needed to board the ferry for an overnight trip across the Adriatic, we had lost contact about a possible hotel reservation for our first three nights in a very brand new place for us, Croatia. Never mind. We don’t do overnight ferries too often (Well, we did one in Mexico long ago from Cabo to Puerto Vallarta, significant only in that the engines died during the night and we spent several hours bobbing around in the Sea of Cortez.) so, we made the most of some good beer, a little dinner, wine in the cabin, a fabulous moonrise from the deck…and a short night of sleep. Then, sunrise over our new temporary home…and no clue what to do when we landed.

We still had no word from the hotel. But, just “over there” across the pier’s parking lot, sat a taxi, complete with driver, who spoke some English, and who had an apartment he’d be happy to show us. After a few minutes of discussion about the location, price, whether his wife could get it cleaned in time for us to see and whether (amongst ourselves) this was a good idea or not, we drove to it. Just what we needed. And,close to the sea, the city’s Promenade, and a grocery store across the street. Kind people helped us out. And, by the way, next to that market across the street is the only coin-operated laundromat in Dalmatia. But, it’s closed for a few more days of vacation.

Here we are. In Split, Croatia. A really fascinating place. Google it. The weather has been fine. The holiday crowds have left. And, we “residents” have it back to ourselves.

So, today, with a little rain, and after a good slice of pizza, we set out for the Tourist Office for further orientation. We extracted all we could…best day trips, hours for the market and fish market, how to get to Trojir and all that. Then, the gentleman we had been talking to declared, as this is not their busy tourist season, “Please come in as often as you want and ask more questions, because, frankly, I am really damn bored.”

To which I replied, “Of course we will, but we don’t want to become a bother to you. We’ll be here at least a month. So when we come in, be sure to ask us whatever questions you might have for us about our country, or about Denver.”

His response: “Okay, so why did the Denver Nuggets get rid of Carmelo Anthony?”

Not what I expected. But, it was worth another 30 minutes of conversation…in a new country.

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