Trafika Europe 5 - Slovenian Interlude


The ‘youngster’ who washed the windows of my tired old car at a petrol station somewhere in the midst of a blasted heath halfway to nowhere, but approximately between Zagreb and Brčko, looked so much like Maki that he could’ve easily convinced me that he was the son Maki had forgotten sometime long ago, while moving iridescent kitsch from his stall at the market. Four toddlers lurked nearby, holding buckets of water and filthy cloths. They peeked out at me, ready to sprint for my change, which I intended to spend on a double espresso and juice at the nearby Javori Restaurant. I thought how my old man would have loved to take them on, but I didn’t inherit any useful talents from him, like wrestling undernourished toddlers. When I opened my car door, outstretched hands were suddenly upon me: a whirl of torn and dirty clothes, and they succeeded in jogging my conscience enough to alleviate me of just enough change to transform my plan into a single espresso and a glass of water. Tepidly pissed-off, I tried to push my way past them, to ignore them, but they did an Indian sprint so that one was always just in front of me, underfoot. They kept showing me how clean my car window was, shoving dirty palms ever nearer my face.

‘I don’t have any change!’

I showed themmy empty pockets.


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