I’ve made it to the promise land but it wasn’t all hearts, stars and rainbows to get here. The trip started off well; my flight which I expected to be delayed wasn’t, I didn’t have to take off my shoes for the security check and I was able to leisurely sip one final PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte) before boarding the plane. Then things took a turn down. When I arrived to my seat, I was surrounded by a family so big that they took up nearly three rows across. There was constant chatter and yelling to relatives on the other side of the plane. The experience was really annoying, but I could have dealt with it, had that been the only frustration. But no, there were these “little” people or as I referred to them as, twin screaming demons. They were actually two cute girls dressed in matching outfits like they were twins but they weren’t. They reminded me of me and my sister when we were little and my mom would dress us in matching outfits. People would always ask if we were twins and the two of us would roll our eyes and inform them that we were two and a half years apart, duh. I never really understood why my mom put us in matching outfits. Mom- Why did you do that?
So, they reminded me of me and my sister except for we were raised right and knew how to behave in public. These girls ranged from screaming and crying to singing and laughing and they climbed all over the place. At one point, I was watching Harry Potter and I felt a presence close by. I looked to my right and nearly screamed when I saw one of the demons looking right at me with her chin on my armrest. Her seat was two rows behind me. What killed me was that their parents would do nothing but laugh and send them to a different relative on the other side of the plane. I learned quickly that the amount of wine and Bailey’s that I consumed wasn’t enough to knock me out, so I suffered through nine hours of complete and total screaming demon hell. I rolled off the plane exhausted with a headache but things got better. I had an easy flight from Frankfurt to Zagreb and David was there waiting to drive me away to Varazdin.
Last evening was a bit of a whirlwind; we drove around town, picked up food and moved my stuff into the apartment. From there, David took me to his favorite restaurant called Angelus and I had the most delicious risotto and wine. After, we walked around town and David pointed out some of the main attractions. This may sound a bit ridiculous, but I also managed to join a gym last night. I think I may have a slight exercise addiction, but you know, I love my Tone It Up workouts and I plan on eating this city out of food, so a little exercise will be good for me.
This morning, after I eventually got up and went to the gym, I was able to do some exploring on my own. I discovered that Varazdin is an absolutely adorable city with lots of churches, bakeries, and cafés. This city boasts both a palace and a castle. There appears to be a lot of history and culture for me to learn about, so that gets me excited. The people here are very friendly but I’m beginning to feel like the town unicorn. In less than a day of being here, it’s clear that they’ve never seen anyone quite like me in their city, and by that, I mean a black American woman. Some people stare as I walk by, others will turn their heads after they’ve passed by me, but my favorite is when they stop everything they’re doing, whether it’s walking, eating or even talking, to stare and then discuss me to their companion. Instead of feeling totally uncomfortable about it, I’m embracing it. It’s preparation for when I become famous and the paparazzi are hunting me down for that perfect photo. With my shades and a scarf, I intend to strut down these streets like Gisele and give them something to look at. Work!