‘Djevojko!’ (‘Girl!’ in Croatian), I hear someone calling behind my back. Thank you, but the days when I was a girl passed quite some time ago so I don’t turn towards the voice. ‘Hello! Allo! Kommen!’, the man’s so persistent that I have to see who’s calling. A vegetable seller smiles and approaches me with a corn cob, ‘I can tell you are hungry. Taste this, it’s the sweetest corn you’ve ever tasted’, he says cutting in half a boiled corn cob and handing it to me. ‘No, thank you, I’ve just had my breakfast’, I reply with a smile, but he doesn’t give up, ‘Come on, don’t turn me down at this early hour! Taste it!’. He made me laugh and I tasted, definitely, the sweetest corn cob ever, thinking that my second breakfast would finish there. However, I was wrong.
‘Now, I’ll give you something else!’, he continues. While he peels a small cucumber and hands it over to me, his determination to feed me makes me laugh, ‘You have to taste this now. I am telling you it’s the best you’ve ever eaten!’. And I couldn’t argue over that either; it was a very, very tasty, juicy cucumber.
The grey-haired man chatted away, showing off the abundance of the fresh food on his stall – nettle, tomatoes, celery, courgettes, rocket, parsley, garlic, lettuce and lavender. Nevertheless, as soon as another customer approached him to buy some bright red tomatoes, his show and my unplanned breakfast came to an end.
I looked around at the rest of the big, colourful farmer’s market and thought how beautiful it was. The thought made me laugh at myself; I recalled a moment at this very place years ago. One of my besties had come back for holidays from the US, while I still thought I would never leave my hometown Rijeka, let alone Croatia. At that time, I couldn’t understand why she was taking photos of the farmer’s market. At that time, I was taking it for granted. Now, many years, moves and trips later, I feel the same as she did back then; every time I come to Croatia I stroll along farmer’s markets and can’t resist taking some photos. My other besties, who remained and have this beauty on a daily basis, laugh at me as I laughed then. However, I truly enjoy the buzz, the abundance, the colours and the sound of this beautiful place. Such places have been disappearing from the West; I miss them in my other lovely home.