Trafika Europe 5 - Slovenian Interlude

soldiers in Pula were well aware that the good colonel was officially on call at the barracks on Thursdays, and that he also, unofficially, cheated on his wife, Ivana, in room 132 of the Brioni Hotel, his coital maneuvers squelching over a stomach full of grilled squid, mixed salad and a litre of red wine. But the soldiers guarded this secret as if it were treasonous to release it. When Ivana called, as she did on rare occasions, they meticulously served their country by explaining to the wife, without a blush of guilt that ‘Colonel Barac can’t come to the phone right now.’ Only once had a new-recruit, an ethnic Albanian, told Ivana that ‘the colonel is in the barracks, but not exactly in the barracks,’ but Barac had managed to explain this away by saying that the man understood Serbian well enough, but hadn’t known what he was saying. And so the secret remained secret. Those who maintained those secret Thursday nights were well-rewarded, not only for those expected to respond to potential calls from the cuckolded wife, but also for the guard duty of having to ‘keep a close eye on Captain Muzirović, and not let him out of barracks for all the tea in China.’ You see, Neven Barac’s Zhana had once been Captain Emir Muzirović’s Zhana, until the latter had discovered, to his horror, that there were multiple officers in her life, to which fact he responded that he didn’t ‘waste his time and his cock on whores.’ But of course Muzirović never really got over her and put on a brave face, as he knew that she secretly met with his


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