During each residency, guests will publish blog entries through which the interested public will be able to track their journey through the locations included in the project.





“C´mon, you are not going to order the chicken! Take a baked sea bass or a gilt-head bream instead. They also have grilled shrimps, sardines, mussels in the tomato sauce… What about this octopus salad? Ah, you know what, just bring her the same as for me,« he finally gave up and turned to the waiter. »And a bottle of wine!«


After the dinner, they took a walk along the coast, although gusts of wind had already begun to blow from the mainland, which was the first signs of bora. “I'm cold,” she said, but he insisted they went at least to edge of the bay. They were silent most of the time, their voices replaced by the stones creaking under their feet and the roar of the sea splashing against the rocks. 

Lately, it was often like that between them. Marko kept telling himself that this part was the pleasant, cosy silence when everything is in the best order and there is nothing more to add or say or do. When every word would just spoils the perfection of the moment. He took her hand, but she didn’t squeeze it back, her fingers were cold and limp like a dead fish.

"Are you feeling OK? You barely touched the food," he asked.

“I wasn’t really hungry. And you know very well that I don't like shrimps too much. "

“Of course you love them, who doesn’t love shrimps? It only gets on your nerves because you don´t know how to open them properly. I'll teach you next time! First, you must remove the head and then you can spread the shell easily… It´s quite simple, actually. ”


After that they didn´t exchange any words all the way back home. He was tired and too full, he ate far too much, the strong local garlic was still burning in his mouth, mixing with the taste of the sea. His head was heavy, his step unreliable from drinking and he no longer had the strength to be in a good mood for both of them; for himself maybe, but for both of them was just too hard. Maybe tomorrow, but not tonight.

But when they returned to the stone house with white shutters, a nice pillar fence, and a brick roof glowing in the last rays of the setting sun, he couldn´t help to be in a good mood again.

"I've been looking for it for more than three years," he said proudly. “I almost gave up and bought a house inland, but it was worth the wait. It´s almost impossible to get a building plot along the coast, so my only chance was to buy an old house and renovated it. The problem is that the locals usually don´t want to sell houses on such a good location. As you already know, I had been following obituaries for quite some time to see if anything emptied… Finally, I even started going to the funerals to persuade the heirs to sell,” he grinned.

"Yes, and that's why everyone on the island now calls you The Vulture. Don't you see how they look at us wherever we go? ” she lost her temper for a moment.

»So what? They will get used to us, people get used to everything," he waved his hand and staggered towards the front door. There was some strange gurgling going on in his stomach, so he better hurried to the toilet.


That night Nataša once again slept in the guest room, which was facing the courtyard side; when the sea was restless and the waves crushed loudly against the rocky coast, she complained she couldn´t get no sleep in the bedroom.

He, quite opposite, liked the sounds of nature. The murmur of the sea calmed him, and now being slightly dizzy from the drink, he almost had the feeling that he was lying on a rocking ship. That too will one day become true, that was his next goal - his own yacht or at least a nice motorboat… He rolled on his back and spread his arms so his wrists hung over the edge on each side of the narrow double bed they squeezed into a rather small bedroom. He closed his eyes and a few seconds later a loud snore spread across the room.


He got up late, with a strong headache and dry mouth. Nataša drank only one glass the night before, and he didn´t want to leave the expensive wine on the table if he paid for it… 

He will have to talk to her, she’s been more and more moody and he really couldn’t understand why she is complaining all the time: she doesn't like the food, she's bothered if it's too hot, she's not happy if it's raining or if the wind is blowing…  She´s whining that there's nothing to do on the island, but if he suggests they can take a ferry to the nearest town, she doesn´t want to go, because there are too many tourists there in the summer or she says that it´s too boring in the winter… They are living in one of the most beautiful places on Earth – or at least in this part of Europe – and she is still not happy. He really couldn´t understand what else does she want in life. She probably doesn´t know either …


When he couldn´t find her neither in the house nor in the backyard, he first thought that she had just taken a bicycle to the nearest store. Then he wanted to make coffee and he saw a piece of paper with her handwriting on the kitchen table. He took it in his hands, the lines were skipping up and down, none of what he was reading made any sense to him. Finally, he let the paper slip between his fingers, so it swung in the air and landed on the ground. He called her on her cell phone, but she was out of reach. Than he looked at his watch; if he hurries, he can still catch the ferry, it took less than ten minutes to the port by car…


While driving, he tried to remember the contents of the letter. She accused him of never listening to her? Disregarding her wishes? What the hell was she talking about! Who does she think he bought this house for? He remembers well how excited she was when they first came on holiday to this island three years ago. “I wish we could stay here forever,” she said the last evening. Yes, he remembers exactly, they were standing on the shore watching the sunset and those were the exact words she said! It's not his fault if maybe some things are a little different as she imagined. She has everything she needs here, it´s paradise on earth, if you know how to relax and enjoy it. In the morning you can just step out of the house and literally tear a fig from a branch with your mouth! She's just spoiled. Spoiled and ungrateful…


He parked and ran to the pier just in time to catch a glimpse of the ship disappearing into the distance. For a moment, he didn't know what to do. He could wait for the next ferry, rent a boat, or maybe pay someone to get a ride… In the end, he decided not to do any of this. He just stood there for a while, not fully understanding what just happened. And when he later came back to the empty stone house with the white shutters, the beautiful pillar fence, and the sea view, for the first time he felt no joy at all.


Translated by the author




»Daj no, menda ne boš naročila piščanca. Vzemi brancina ali orado izpod peke. Imajo tudi škampe na žaru, polnjene lignje, sardelice, dagnje na buzaro … Kaj pa ta solata s hobotnico? Eh, prinesite ji kar isto kot meni,« je nazadnje obupal in se obrnil k natakarju. »In eno steklenico vina!« 


Po večerji sta sprehodila ob obali, čeprav so s celine že začeli pihati sumljivi sunki vetra, ki so naznanjali začetek burje. »Zebe me,« je rekla, a je vztrajal, da gresta vsaj do konca zaliva in nazaj. Večino časa sta molčala, namesto njiju je govorilo škripanje kamnov pod njunimi stopali in bučanje morja, ki se je  zaganjalo ob skale. Zadnje časa je bilo pogosto tako. Marko se je tolažil, da je to tista prijetna tišina, ko je vse v najlepšem redu in ni več česa reči ali dodati. Ko bi vsaka beseda samo pokvarila popolnost trenutka. Prijel jo je za roko. Njeni prsti so bili mlahavi in hladni, kakor da bi držal v dlani mrtvo ribo.

»Si v redu? Hrane se skoraj nisi dotaknila,« je vprašal.

»Nisem bila zares lačna. In dobro veš, da ne maram škampov.«

»Seveda jih imaš rada, kdo pa ne mara škampov? Na živce ti gre samo, ker jih ne znaš prav odpreti. Naslednjič te bom naučil. Najprej odstraniš glavo, nato pa lepo razpreš lupino … Čisto preprosto.«


Potem sta spet molčala vso pot nazaj. Bil je utrujen, preveč se je nažrl, v ustih pekoč česen in okus po morju, glava težka, korak negotov od pijače, ni imel več moči biti za oba dobre volje, zase še mogoče, za oba pa ne, danes ne več, za danes je bilo dovolj … 

A potem ga je  pogled na kamnito hišo z belimi polkni, stebričasto ograjo in opečnato streho, ožarjeno z zadnjimi žarki zahajajočega sonca, vseeno spravil v dobro voljo.

»Tri leta sem jo iskal,« je ponosno rekel. »Skoraj sem že obupal in vzel kakšno bolj v notranjosti otoka, ampak se je splačalo počakati. Ob obali je nemogoče dobiti gradbeno parcelo, edina šansa je bila, da kupim kakšno staro hišo in jo dam prenoviti. Problem je, da tudi domačini hiš na taki lokaciji nočejo kar tako prodati. Saj veš, da sem nekaj časa spremljal osmrtnice, da bi videl, če se bo kaj spraznilo. Nazadnje sem začel hoditi celo na pogrebe, da bi dediče prepričal v prodajo …« se je zarežal.

»Ja, in zaradi tega te še zdaj vsi na otoku kličejo Jastreb. A res ne vidiš, kako naju gledajo, kamorkoli prideva?!« je za trenutek izgubila potrpljenje.

»In? Se bodo že navadili na naju, ljudje se na vse navadijo,« je odmahnil z roko ter se opotekel proti vhodnim vratom. V trebuhu mu je čudno klokotalo in mudilo se mu je na stranišče.


Nataša je tudi to noč spala v sobi za goste, ki je bila obrnjena na dvoriščno stran hiše; kadar je bilo morje razburkano in so valovi še posebej glasno butali ob skale, se je pritoževala, da v spalnici zaradi hrupa sploh ne more zatisniti očesa. Njega je šumenje morja pomirjalo in zdaj, ko se mu je še rahlo vrtelo od pijače, je imel občutek, da leži na zibajoči barki. Tudi to bo še, to je bil naslednji cilj – lastna jahta ali vsaj malo boljši motorni čoln … Prevalil se je na hrbet in razširil roke, da so mu zapestja na vsaki strani visela čez rob ozke dvojne postelje. Zaprl je oči in še čez nekaj sekund se je po sobi razširilo glasno smrčanje.


Prebudil se je pozno, s težko glavo in suhimi usti. Nataša je prejšnji večer spila samo en kozarec, njemu pa se je zdelo škoda pustiti vino, če ga je že plačal … Moral se bo pogovoriti z njo, njeno obnašanje je postajalo vse bolj muhasto. Ni mogel razumeti, zakaj se ves čas toliko pritožuje: ne ugaja ji hrana, moti jo, če je prevroče, ni ji prav, če dežuje ali piha veter, ves čas tarna, da na otoku ni kaj za početi, če ji predlaga, da lahko gresta s trajektom do mesta, pa pravi, da je tam poleti preveč turistov, pozimi pa preveliko mrtvilo …  Imata srečo, da živita na enem najlepših krajev na svetu – no, ali pa vsaj v tem delu Europe – pa še zmeraj ni zadovoljna. Res mu ni bilo jasno, kaj bi še rada. Najbrž še sama ne ve.


Ko je ni bilo ne v hiši in ne zadaj na vrtu, je najprej sklepal, da se je s kolesom odpeljala do najbližje trgovine. Potem si je hotel skuhati kavo in na kuhinjski mizi zagledal popisan list papirja. Vzel ga je v roke, vrstice so preskakovale gor in dol, nič od tega, kar je bral, ni imelo zanj nobenega smisla. Nazadnje je pustil, da mu je papir zdrsel med prsti, dvakrat zanihal v zraku in pristal na tleh. Poskušal jo je priklicati na telefon, a je bila nedosegljiva. Pogledal je na uro; če pohiti, lahko mogoče še ujame trajekt, do pristanišča je bilo z avtomobilom manj kot deset minut …  


Med vožnjo se je poskušal spomniti vsebine pisma. Da je nikoli ne posluša? Da ne upošteva njenih želj? Za koga pa misli, da je kupil in uredil to hišo? Dobro se spomni, kako je bila navdušena, ko sta pred tremi leti med počitnicami prvič prišla na ta otok. »Sploh ne bi šla več domov,« je rekla zadnji večer, ja, natančno se spominja, stala sta na obali in opazovala sončni zahod … Hudiča, ni on kriv, če zdaj ni vse čisto tako, kot si je predstavljala. Sploh pa ji tu v resnici nič ne manjka. Raj na zemlji, če le znaš uživati. Zjutraj lahko stopiš iz hiše in dobesedno z usti utrgaš figo z veje! Samo razvajena je. Razvajena in nehvaležna …


Ko je parkiral in pritekel na pomol, je ravno še ujel pogled na ladjo, ki je izginjala v daljavi. Za trenutek ni vedel, kaj naj stori. Lahko bi počakal na naslednji trajekt ali pa morda komu plačal najem čolna ali prevoz. Na koncu se ni odločil za nič od tega. In ko se je pripeljal nazaj do prazne kamnite hiše z belimi polkni, lepo stebričasto ograjo in razgledom na morje, prvič ni začutil prav nobenega veselja.




Nataša je i tu noć spavala u sobi za goste, koja je bila okrenuta na dvorišnu stranu kuće; kad bi more bilo uzburkano a valovi posebno glasno udarali o stepenice, tužila se da u spavaćoj sobi od buke ne može ni oka sklopiti. Njega je šum mora umirivao i sad, kad mu se već vrtjelo od pića, imao je osjećaj da leži u brodici koja se ljuljala. Bit će i toga, to mu je bio sljedeći cilj – vlastita jahta ili barem malo bolji motorni čamac... Okrenuo se na leđa i raširio ruke pa su mu zapešća sa svake strane visjela preko ruba uskog kreveta za dvoje. Zatvorio je oči i kroz nekoliko sekundi prostorijom se razleglo glasno hrkanje.


Probudio se teške glave i suhih usta. Nataša je prethodne večeri popila samo jednu čašu, a njemu je bilo šteta pustiti vino, kad ga je već platio... Morat će s njom razgovarati, njeno je ponašanje postalo previše mušičasto. Nije mogao razumjeti zašto se toliko žali: ne odgovara joj hrana, smeta joj ako je prevruće, krivo joj je ako pada kiša ili puše vjetar, kad je ljeti ondje previše turista, a zimi pak da je prevelika pustoš... Imaju sreću da žive na jednom od najljepših predjela na svijetu – ili barem u tom dijelu Europe – ali ona još nije zadovoljna. Doista mu nije bilo jasno što bi ona još htjela. Vjerojatno ni sama ne zna.



Sandorf - publishing house founded in 2008, engaged in Croatian literature and literature in translation, and in a wide range of books in humanities.


Center for Research and Promotion of Urban Culture (CIP) is a non-profit association that has existed for twenty years. Established in 1998, it operates in the areas of culture and art, urbanism, youth mobility and social dialogue.


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