Meet the People of Zagreb: Sanja, a Harry Potter Quizmaster

Total Croatia News

Zagreb is full of interesting and diverse people, and Total Zagreb will get to know some of them in our weekly feature, Meet the People of Zagreb. We start with a very energetic young lady with a passion for Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. Meet Sanja. 

1. Tell us first who you are, and what you do in Zagreb?

I’m Sanja, and I’m a communicology graduate and Community manager of PR agency IMC. I was born in Zagreb in 1988 in the neighborhood of Lašćina. I’ve been moving around quite a bit the last few years, but I never really go too far from home or away from my family and friends.

2. What do you like about the city, and what would you change if you could?

I adore Zagreb and I wouldn’t want to move for anything. In the past few years, I’ve noticed a lot of positive changes in our community, but there’s always room for improvement, especially in the area of technology.

I recently saw a video from Switzerland about high tech waste management. They’ve essentially integrated standard trash cans with an underground garbage disposal system. It looked very cool and futuristic and it’s actually the same system they’re using in Serbia. So I know it’s not impossible, but still, Zagreb doesn’t have anything like it yet.

We also have a number of locals creating some really cool tech, and I’d love to see the city take advantage of it. There’s a Croatian guy, Ivan Mrvoš, making smart benches which can charge phone batteries, provide lighting and possibly even wi-fi. He’s selling them to a number of other states and cities, but Zagreb has yet to catch on to them.

Also, as someone who regularly cycles to work, I can say that our infrastructure for cycling is pretty terrible. I’m afraid to ride on the road because drivers pay little attention to the cyclists and when I ride on the pedestrian walkway, people get upset because there aren’t many official circuits. So, I would appreciate if The City of Zagreb could work to develop safer conditions for bicyclists ☺. .

3. Your favourite place in the city and why?

Probably Cookie factory because I am a huge fan of their hot brownie with ice-cream ,and I was super excited when they opened in my neighbourhood (Kvatrić) :D.

4. How has the city changed in the last ten years?

I think mostly it became more tourist-friendly. In the past, people wouldn’t even bother to come to Zagreb and would head straight to the coast. But now there are so many places to go, especially during the winter, which became sort of Zagreb’s trademark. There are more restaurants, more coffee bars, more clubs, and generally just a better selection of everything. Also, many local business owners started paying attention to interior/exterior design, so new venues generally look very modern, and well thought out. The standard is being set much higher now than it used to be and now we have a lot of venues that we can be proud of.

5. Three cool places most foreigners miss?

The first would be Maksimir park. I don’t think many tourists go there since it’s not in the immediate centre of town and it doesn’t have much content aside from the local ZOO and the forest itself. But I would definitely recommend visiting Maksimir if you have a bit of spare time and you’re in need of a peaceful nature environment.

The second one isn’t really one specific place but it’s rather spread out over a few different locations and I think it is very cool for both locals and tourists. It’s an ambiental installation called Nine Views which makes up a consistent model of the Solar System along with the sculpture Prizemljeno sunce situated in Bogovićeva street. So you have the Sun and nine planets sculptures, all of which are in different locations and located throughout the city in accurately scaled distances between one another. It’s super fun to try to find them all, but must admit, even I still haven’t yet ☺. .

Lastly, I would choose Britanac. I guess some tourists know about it, but it still deserves special mention. Britanac is an eclectic flea market in the heart of Zagreb. It’s one of the last true iconic markets representing the the city’s old world charm.

6. We hear you are a Harry Potter fan, and you host a really cool event. Tell us a little about that. 

I have been a huge Harry Potter fan since my childhood; and I think I’m probably even a bigger fan now than I was back then, especially since I don’t try to hide it anymore (I was teased about it in high school because it wasn’t cool to read, as other kids considered the series „children’s books“).

I’m also a Game of Thrones fan, I was even an extra in the show, so I went on a pub quiz with my team and won a second place. Ever since then I wanted to compete at Harry Potter pub quiz, but there weren’t any. So, my friend Vladimir Cvetković Sever who worked for Algoritam which organized the GOT quiz and also hosted it asked me why don’t I organize it myself. And so I did, with a help of my friend Barbara Spasović, comedians from Studio Smijeha and Lajnap, Algoritam and Vladimir himself.

The quiz was a huge success, so I decided to make it a regular thing at Studio Smijeha and we also did a small Croatian tour at the end of 2016. We have terrific prizes with the help of our great sponsors and every quiz is full in a matter of few hours. At the same time, an association called Ministry of Magic was formed and we began to collaborate. Thanks to them, and hopefully to my quiz as well, a lot of Harry Potter events are now happening throughout the year including even a few new HP quizzes as well. I don’t compete on those though because, obviously, ours is the best ☺. .

7. Your favourite hangouts on a Saturday night?

This will sound terribly sad, but the answer is – my bed :D. I’m at the age when I’m in a long term relationship and constantly swamped at work during the week. Additionally the HP organization and all of my other interests take a lot of my time, so I don’t really go out anymore and I prefer my bed and my favorite TV show or a houseparty over loud and stinky clubs ☺. 

Sanja’s next Harry Potter quiz was announced yesterday – it sold out in hours. You can follow Sanja’s Harry Potter Quiz on Facebook. Or on Instagram here.


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