Zarkoff’s Summer Report – Part 2


Those of you that have anxiously been anticipating the second half of Zarkoff's summer diary can rest easy in the knowledge that the epic conclusion to the great man's summer is finally here. In case you missed it, here's part 1. It's time to once more delve deep into his world;

Part 2: Starigrad, Paklenica

Events of the previous days seem like ancient history. Now, I'm in a familiar place, old buddies. They're fresh, first day on the coast, while I'm fucked up, recovering from too much fun, but still functional. I found them cleaning the house.. Hmm, I could have showed up a few hours earlier to help, sorry boys..   

I'm glad I hooked up with these fine unique specimens. Same as my relatively new friends I left in Vodice, no serial numbers on them, no barcodes. But they are from another time and place, the same time and place as me, so I understand them better.  I can be more childish with them. 

I don't need to go anywhere or do anything with these guys in order to blast into surreal derangement.  We just sit down, have a drink and the stories roll. So this is the plan:

Find a tourist couple

Somehow manipulate them into a fight, we might need an accomplice for that, or just prey on a couple that's obviously not in good relations

Then we offer our mariachi services to the guy – we mend the string that binds hearts together

A 3 piece mariachi band appears underneath the troubled couple's balcony, riding a donkey, a deer and a unicorn

If we can't find a unicorn, we'll just glue a big white dildo on a horse's head, it will do just fine from a distance

We sing a sad Mexican love song, of course

Hearts reconnect

We get a fistful of dineros, everybody's happy again, and we ride into the dusk, or dawn, or just disapper into the night. No services in the daytime, though, when the sun in up, it's siesta time.

Yessir, we're selling a whole different kind of tourism here. This is Starigrad – Paklenica, after all. That roughly translates to Old Town – Hell's Canyon. Sounds like a place from a spaghetti western movie, but it beats even that. This is where they shot Winnettou flicks in the 70s.  There is a big canyon here, barren mountains sinking steadily into the sea. Storms are frequent, cold sweetwater springs may surprise you as you swim here. This is no festival ground, the new Ibiza, whatnot.. This is the old Dalmatia, with tiny churches, pagan ritual pit stops for funeral processions, legends of the King Doghead accompanied by adequate jackal howling in the night. The microclimate of this place is its protection against globalization and modernization.   Storms start abruptly here, weather changes frequently and violently, not a good festival site. A mountain with canyons and a bay. Beautifully rough. Sharp rocks and crystal clear. 

And we have the privilege of witnessing a hailstorm. In the middle of the summer, chunks of ice rain from the sky. What an awakening! News reach us of 2 ladies on the Zadar market struck by lightning and a tornado in the inland. What, we have tornadoes now?  

Obviously no swimming today, how to make best of the situation? After the hail turned to rain I had a refreshing shower on the terrace, while the muchacos put on Tom Jones to cheer us up. Again, slightly surreal… And then all of the sudden – sun, heat, as if nothing happened. 

Later in the day, we even went to the beach. Again I found a stone wall (these are plentiful on the coast), sat down with a cold beer and wrote down some unimportant observations. It's very quiet here, a small camp behind me. German tourists pass by. They will swim, they don't mind the sea being cooler now, after the storm. No conception of decent sea temperature. People from nothern Europe, naturally, have very different ideas about what's cold. I wonder how they tolerate the heat. I see them red as lobsters, outer layers of skin gently peeling off, fluttering inthe breeze as they walk by. Their apparent stoicism amazes me. It must hurt like hell. I managed to get a sunburn myself, really ridiculous. My right shin is half-baked, with a precise diagonal line of separation. It was that pool after party a few days ago, where my right leg was sticking under the shaded area, and I did not notice until it was already well done. But I have no right to bitch about it, not with the family of stoic Fallout ghouls next to me.

Another drunken fantasy:

The Fetish Grillmeister, spanking with a greasy spatula, grilling and drilling! Yes, in this very yard, we have it all, the booze, the meat, the body hair.. there is an existing fetish scene for any kind of perversion a person can think of, so I don't see why sex and grill shouldn't be represented. And popularized. It's very primal, very dionysian, carnal, I think it could catch on. And us running a rare establishment here,  we'd make loads of cash. We'd need a sign on the beach: "Hot Wurst and no mosquitoes“

Left Starigrad, the canyon, the bad weather, the mariachi band Fantasia. Barbecue, booze and nonsense, it was wonderful. New people await. Picked them up in Zadar. A few words about this assembly would be in order as charachers are important for the story. Firstly, an English gentleman, the dj that cooked up all this diary business in the first place, always fun to hang around with, his Bulgarian friend who remained a bit of a mistery to us, but proved himself to be a self propelling and unstopabble raver to the end, and a couple from Zagreb, whom I know for a long time from many parties, after parties and festivals.  The guy is a special case, a high level enabler, a born entertainer, armed with a sharp wit, minimal shame and a correct moral stance. Another prototype not meant for mass production. He also has a substantial Buddha belly that he proudly displays. His girlfriend is a sweet little beast, more then capable to keep him in check and both of them out of trouble. He had symmetrical scratches on his face when we met and skillfully avoided telling me when I asked.  Hm. 

Our accomodation was  really nice, everything went more or less smooth, we had an extremely spicy dinner, thanks to two cooks collaborating on what turned out to be a chilli spaghetti massacre. I ate the whole plate only to enjoy cooling it down with cold beers.  Also because it was a challenge.  Rest of the evening  was pleasantly spent drinking, playing Velvet Underground songs on guitar and watching some nostalgic youtube vids. At midnight I turned 33, got drunk and went to sleep a few hours later.

I woke up so late. Must have slept 10 hours.  Noticeable hangover with a serious headache. A regular tourist day, got tickets for Electric Elephant and went in to have a swim in the rain on the festival site, nothing special. In the evening we went to Barbarella for the party, also a part of the festival.  Well, there it happened. We dropped a few bombs of what proved to be strongest M I had in ages. I tried dancing for a while, but the music was a bit too soft and sleazy for my taste. And M was coming on strong. So after a few welcome drinks it became clear that the rest of the evening will be spent in random socializing with people who are in a similar predicament. Well, it could have been worse.  I met up with my party crew, seemed like we were under the same pressure, lifted up by a good track every now and then. Luckily for us, the club is a semi open one, with rocks and olive trees, and lots of comfy places to sit, very pleasant just to hang out there.  The Hustling Buddha socialized with some local kids. One of them accused us of being cops and nearly started an incident. He looked too freaky and high to be taken seriously. The others seemed to trust us completely. Funny. First time I looked like a cop to anyone.  The little beast bit her cheek or lip or something and her face started swelling. We lost control of the situation without realizing. That's how things start slipping out. Molly is a wicked emotional manipulator, that's why we love her. It can make you love everyone, but love turns into dark alleys, twisting away from your grip, taking you to strange places. Nothing wrong with that.

Anyway, whatever we may have consumed throughout the night took over at that time, it was just happening, the bliss of fooling around and entertaing each other. We kept meeting more and more local people, picked up a couple of philosophy students on the way back to our apartment for the after party, as well as our Irish neighbor Neil, who joined us when his roommates fell asleep. A really pleasant party monster, brought a jolt of new energy into an already lively after party on the balcony. We talked a lot, laughed a lot, complained a bit, had some awkward moments, then went to the beach. Directly in front of a beach bar, of course, it's important to have an object that sells liquor to watch your back in these situations. The sun can be treacherous. In the beach bar our Golden Lotus bumped into those same guys  from Barbarella so we spent the afternoon drinking there. Neil and the local boys were buying the drinks because I was slightly broke by then. We even came to doing shots of local plum brandy, serious stuff.  Worn out and getting tired, I understood less and less of conversations going on around me, saving myself with some profoundly lucid moments and poke-backs. You know how boys like to poke each other  and it's important to poke back with the right measure. We had plenty of raw , cheap and dirty humor. Not as dirty and twisted as in Starigrad, though. The furthest we went were gigolo jokes, we tried to come up with a name for a company that provides services to older rich tourists. Oh, I did threaten to fuck someone in the ass at one moment but I'm all talk and no action.

Later in the evening we met other Irish neighbors, also seemed like very nice guys. They were going out and  I was supposed to wake them up tomorrow, I remember that much. But I absolutely forgot when.  Details get left out in memory, what can you do. I should write things down.

Morning greets me with the sudden feeling of emptiness. Wallet, stash, head, heart – all empty, a wasteland. Time to go home, rest a bit and prepare for Holland. I need to be fit for the 15 h drive to Den Haag, then 10 days of rehearsals and recording sessions. It would be pleasant to stay for another week chilling on some island, just a tent and a sleeping bag, sober up, swim, re-assemble, but it's not time for that yet. There's places to go, people to be seen, work to be done. Adios, Adria!