I’m starting to put together some stereotypes for nationalities based on who I’ve met on my travels. Some are not so surprising like, Germans being calculated and smartly dressed or Spanish being loud and prone to wild gesticulation. But new ones area now framed in my mind. Argentinians for example, are similar to the Spanish, but completely oblivious to others personal comforts or hostel etiquette, earning my vindictive illumination of all future hostel rooms they are sleeping in henceforth.

I’ve packed up my bags today and said my goodbyes to Jeff and family at the King’s Landing medieval hostel in old town that had been my home for the last 7 nights. I was now tramping up the main road out of the old part and towards the new part of town. I had run my funds down to only 70 Kunas yesterday, and as it had been a Sunday I hadn’t wanted to risk trying to move money internationally for fear of exorbitant fees. I had used my last cash to pick up a sandwich and a coffee at my favorite beachside cafe, with the blue wood and bright parasols.  I’ll never forget this place, offering seclusion from the tourist masses not willing to walk down a set of stairs incase they have to walk back up them later. I sat here in the sun once again working and blogging till my battery died and it was time to find my new hostel.

Finding my way was relatively easy. Walking the way to the hostel was not. I had followed the obvious main road to the new town and the harbour then took a simple right turn and followed the  next set of streets straight to my hostel. However easy it was to find was dwarfed by the magnitude of the challenge of getting there up hundreds of steps. I didn’t count the number on the way up, it was too depressing. Lugging my bags, one across my back sticking to my back in the heat and the other balancing the weight across my front. The exertion wetting my shirt with sweat so thoroughly, by the time I got to the top it looked like I was a 7 years old with my nose pressed against a sweet shop window dribbling.

I quickly changed and refreshed myself and after lunch 3 hyperactive Spanish chicks arrived in the room. I’d been sitting outside on the terrace with some Canadian chaps where we had exchanged the usual 3 introductory hostel questions:

  • How long you been travelling for?
  • Where have you been?
  • Where are you going?

It turns out the Canadian accent is impossible for the Spanish to understand so I was having to translate Canadian-English, to Actual-English to the Spanish could participate in the exchange. The girls were actually from the Basque region of Spain in the north west so after a few secretive exchanges between themselves, I let it be known I understood some of their Spanish. They we supportive of my pigeon Spanish but also immediately switched to Basque to continue their own conversations. One of the Canadians was a Prison Reform Officer and was stacked with muscles that made him look like he was smuggling footballs which I think they quite liked but didn’t want him to know.

Stereotype added; Canadians don’t know how to speak French or, it turns out, English either, according to the Spanish.

Both the Spanish and the Canadians were leaving the next day to return home and neither of them had been up to the fort on the hill. I couldn’t allow this and suggested we all went up there immediately. The girl were a bit more flush than us lads so opted for the cable car and we walked. Finally I made good on my personal promise to walk up to the fort and it was not as bad as I thought it would be, only taking an hour. I’m pretty sure I could have done it faster with the right footwear, the thin soled fabric timberland deck shoes were not ideal for the rocky slopes, but I made it work.

We had hoped to get up there for sunset, but the weather had rolled in and blotted out the sun with dark angry clouds. There was nothing to see and the wind picked up and whipped across the top of the museum. I’d managed to blagg all 6 of us free entry because it was the end of the day and I think he recognised I wasn’t going to give up. The view from the top was work it and everyone seemed to enjoy it, but wanted to get down fairly quickly to avoid the wind and impending rain. The rain finally hit us on the descent and made life a little miserable but we manned up and got back to the hostel in one piece. None of us had brought coats. I’d had the foresight to bring a jumper but the Canadians were in vest tops, displaying the guns.

Stereotype added; Canadians don’t prepare for the weather, it just happens around them and they deal with it like men. It’s still icy cold in Canada in May.

We had made it up to the top in about the same time as the girls and had absolutely smashed them on the way back. We had been home, dried and warmed with beer in our bellies for about 30 mins before they showed up. I was drinking with a German girl who added the last of the stereotype amendments for the day.

Germans find “yo momma” jokes the height of humour. They also really do wear socks and sandals on holiday.