Moving a household across town, as anyone knows, can be stressful. Add to your most confused and crazy experience the factors involved in a society that has a completely different concept of what service means as well as the issues of typical regional habits.
Long-term rentals are a rare commodity on the Dalmatian Coast. Many local and absentee owners prefer to rent for one or two weeks to tourists for inflated sums of money. I began my search for a new apartment in early November and very quickly became disillusioned. It was not until February when I finally found a lovely apartment in Cavtat, a small seaside town fifteen kilometers south of Dubrovnik. Local bus service here is excellent and of course, I do have my free senior bus pass.
My internet and television service is still via phone lines and this is where the fun began. I was diligent about contacting the phone company in advance of the move, in hopes services would be installed easily and quickly. This was not to be the case! In short, the process ended up taking 30 days and once here we quickly found we had no cell phone reception inside the new apartment. This meant I had to call the phone company from outdoors and across the road, rain or shine. However, after a month in our new place we have a phone, internet and TV services up and running, finally.
The apartment is located in an outlying area near Cavtat town. Our first week here we found out the hard way that the electric company was installing new electrical circuits and replacing the older streetlights. That first week we only had electricity after 5pm until 9am but luckily, the weather cooperated most of the time, warm and sunny. Each day, making the morning trek down to the small grocery store I noticed the electric company workers and must admit I found the work ethic to be very different. Most of the time I would notice only two men actually working, while four others were either watching or wistfully gazing at the sea. OK, do take into consideration these men are minimum wage earners; an average salary here is only 4,000 Kuna per month. Get out the calculators – the exchange rate is about five kuna for one dollar.
Cavtat is a Dalmatian town with history. The original town founded by the Greeks in the 6th Century BC and named Epidaurus. Although located very close to our airport, it is a quiet and lovely area. My day always begins by taking Abby out for our early morning stroll up the hill for the view across the sea to the three small atolls, Mrkan, Bobara and Supetar. Once atop the hill, we turn and just a bit further across the blue Adriatic lay Dubrovnik, the shining star of the Dalmatian coast. What a great place to live!