Almost after a decade of being an EU member, Croatia will officially adopt the Euro on 1 January 2023; hence, I won’t need to trade for Kuna next time I go there. The currency exchange bureaus I saw on the borders between Croatia and Slovenia will surely disappear. Hopefully, those who depend on this for their livelihood have already found alternative sources of income. Proactiveness and foresightedness are qualities needed to survive in our continually changing world.
I was surprised to undergo a border check between Slovenia and Croatia, two EU countries. Meanwhile, my Aussie family members travelling with us were delighted to have their passports stamped. They were awed by the number of countries they had crossed in one day (Germany, Austria, Italy, and Slovenia).
Our visit to enchanting Montenegro was stained by my brother-in-law’s accident in Perast. It was raining; as he stepped down from the side of a restaurant to test the river’s water, he slipped together with his travel bag of cash, credit card, passport, etc. He had a cut on his stomach from trying to get up on cemented steps that had no railing; he fell twice. In the USA, this happening could be a playground for lawyers. For instance, Kittell Law Firm had litigation against the GoldStrike casino on behalf of a client who slipped and fell on a wet floor in its buffet. It also obtained a confidential sum against the owner of the Day’s Inn in Mississippi for a client who, when exiting his vehicle and proceeding to take his luggage out, stepped back into an open hole at the edge of the parking lot that could not be seen because it was not lit (http://kittell-law.com/recent-lawsuits/recent-premises-liability-cases/).
Montenegro, a non-EU member, uses Euro while Croatia doesn’t. Kosovo and Montenegro use the euro as their de facto domestic currency. “This is keeping with an older practice of using the German mark, which was previously the de facto currency in these areas” (https://economy-finance.ec.europa.eu/euro/use-euro/euro-outside-euro-area_en).
I didn’t expect to be driving through Bosnia-Herzegovina, which is situated in the western Balkan Peninsula of Europe and has a 932 km border with Croatia. (Bosnia occupies the northern and central parts of the country while the latter has the south and southwest). On July 26, a few days after we had left Dubrovnik (Croatian city “Pearl of the Adriatic” famous for its old town district, medieval walls, a maze of narrow lanes and terracotta roofs, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the long-awaited Peljesac Bridge opened, bypassing Bosnia’s territory.
On our way home, we spent a day in Grasse, the world’s perfume capital that sits on the hills of the French Riviera. Since I’m allergic to strong smells and odours, I didn’t visit perfumeries. Instead, I soaked up Grasse’s scented ambience on a comfy pink deckchair in a quiet, shady corner of its old town. The summer holiday is over for me, and I’m now ready to resume teaching and writing.