My best friend in Croatia is an Uber driver named Zoran.
International Uber is the best. In New York City, you pay $20 for an Uber driver to ignore you and swear in the general direction of traffic. Internationally, you pay anywhere from fifty cents to a few dollars to get a driver and a cultural lesson at the same time. Most international Uber drivers are thrilled to have you in their car so they can practice their English and tell you all about the great things about their city, like how you should invest in their shea butter import/export side business. Unless you catch them on a bad day, of course, then they just practice complaining because I imagine most of their wives are really tired of them coming home after a long day and whining about the fact that Slobo hasn't had his tires checked in 10 years.
In Split, Croatia, the town is so small and Uber is so new that I've literally had the same Uber driver three times out of the eight trips I've taken so far. His name is Zoran, and he drives a miniature white Volkswagen which is hilarious because like all Croatian men, Zoran is about 6'5" and has a head the size of a hubcap. The man can't even fit in his own car, so he's busy driving me around, totally hunched over, while chatting with a mile wide smile. It's a little creepy that I've had him three times because each time has been a pickup from the same far away location, at the same time of day. He either lives around that area or he's taking a gamble on my presence. Maybe both. Either way, it's like driving around by Croatian Quasimodo and he's not getting paid if I'm dead, so it's in his best interest not to kidnap me.
Zoran is full of useful information. I now know the best local restaurant in town (Pimpinella), and "All ze people tink ze restaurant next door ees better because eets much more money, but at Peempinella eet ees half price and premium quality!"
The best cakes in town (Pekarna Hrstic), "You call me, geev me twenty minutes and I turn off Uber application and take you there and tell you what is cake, what is bread."
The best view in town (Vidilica), "Eets very beautiful, day or night. But eet has many steps. Eight hundred steps! I know because I read plaque information at bottom of steps and eet tells me."
The best joke in town, "I have friend who veesit America. I ask heem, how ees America? He say, 'They are twenty years behind Croatia!' I say, 'How ees eet possible? How ees eet possible that America ees twenty years behind Croatia?' He say, 'Eets because in America, they are happy!' Eets better een Croatian language, but you understand me, yes?"
The state of crime in town, "Croatia, we are small country. Eeet ees so safe. We only have one murder een six years! And ze newspaper, they still talk about eet! Of course sometime we have Australian tourist rape Mexican girl during busy season, but eets not Croatian people!"
And of course, the state of American politics, "Een Croatia, we only four million people. We do not have so many eediots. Een your country, so many people. So many eediots. And so you have Trump."
Thanks Zoran. See you tomorrow!