14 June 2013

Searching Salt

Endorphins rising along the way, unease waiting. This substance produced naturally by our brain with opium-like effects, which appears in different situations: excitement, pain, orgasm, love… Takes over me; I sing, I shout inside my helmet, gone eyes as the road progresses, as the curves moves before me snaking through. I have to cross from Romania up to Drvenik, Croatia, and see the sea for the first time in a year and eight months. On the way through forests and plateaus, cold, rain, sun, the landscapes change not so radically as I had thought, clouds. I’m looking for the forgotten feeling of throwing myself into the sea, the smell, it’s movement, the reflection of the Sun on the waves, the sensation of the salt on my skin once the sea water has dried.

I’m still thinking about the sea while getting lost in small towns in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, I have no map, I do not need it; I like to lose myself, talk to people, as I can, ask for directions, the right road. In this little town in the region of Čačak, Serbia, I entered a cafe where two men and a woman – in Serbia girls are beautiful- were betting at dice, next to the bus station. I say: “coffee?” They nod their head and here begins one of the most common problems of the language barrier, “with milk” – I add. But it seems that they don’t understand me. I begin mimicking as if I was milking a cow and making the noise that I think the udder makes: ftgh ftgh ftgh. “Ahh!”-They exclaim as they laugh. I also laugh. Outside, three tables, in one seat three taxi drivers,

The sea

The sea

drinking coffee, who make that movement with the head to say: “hello”. At the other a grandma and a grandpa drinking sparkling water; the grandpa raises his hand to say hi. I do the same and sit at the empty table. I offer a cigarette to the old man but he refuses it laughing and speaking in Serbian. While rolling a cigarette comes the long black hair girl who had won a few Serbian dinars gambling at dice and brings me the coffee, Turkish style. Drinking it and smoking I begin to talk to the taxi drivers. I ask

them if I’m on the right track to Guča, where between the 5th and the 11th of august will be an amazing Trumpet Festival. They say: “yes, yes, Guča, twenty kilometres that way”. Finished the coffee and the third cigarette, I take my things and go to pay just when they were dividing the betted money. “How much?”-I ask-. She answers but I don’t understand. I take a hundred Serbian Dinars note out of my wallet and she hands me fifty back. 1 euro is more or less 115 dinars. The minimum month salary in Serbia is 200€, very little compared to the minimum salary in Western Europe.


After three and a half days and four borders I arrive to the sea, just need to take the Ferry to the island of Hvar. Once I set one foot on the island comes a smell of fennel that carries me, makes me travel to my childhood spent close to the Mediterranean shore, with its pine and Rosemary growing wild. I have come to the Adriatic Sea, to the Dalmatian coast, the salt.