Top 5 Things We Love to Hate in Zagreb Trams

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America has People of Walmart, Zagreb has People of Trams.

1) The fast and the furious, geriatric style
“Respect those older than you” is the first rule you are taught at the Nikšić household. My mom is the sweetest person you can imagine (hi, mom! :D), but the look she gave me when I criticised my friend’s mom once would bring back all the melted ice caps, to the excitement of climate sceptics everywhere.
This being said, she has put the fear of god in me even though she is miles away, so am always respectful to older people and I get up every time I see a granny enter the tram. I have a piece of hard candy as proof, given to me by a very nice old lady whom I had once given up my seat for because I saw she was uncomfortable facing the opposite direction of where the tram was headed.
But even if you’re trying to be polite, hell hath no fury like an old lady dethroned.
Sometimes the cute little grannies smile and say thank you, and you go on with your lives, but other times (99% of the time) they turn into eagle-eyed predators scanning the tram for their seat-like prey who could give the Flash a run (pun intended) for his money. And that’s ok, they are older, other people should give up their seats, but the fury with which they approach people who haven’t given up their seats within seconds as they entered the tram is unbelievable. A friend of mine was listening to music on his phone once and wasn’t paying any attention to what was going on around him, so he didn’t notice an elderly man standing next to him, coughing emphatically, demanding his birth right be given to him immediately. After tens of seconds had passed, he scratched my friend, screaming with rage as my friend was walking away to the ER to get the wound checked.
On another occasion, an old lady demanded that a younger woman stand up so she could sit down because she is old, sick, etc., only to have the younger woman reply that she couldn’t stand up because she was just getting back from chemotherapy.

2) A person yelling at someone who isn’t there, followed by him (and his invisible friend) talking to you
Tram terminals seem to be the locations where most loonies gather, not sure why that’s the case. One time I was waiting for Tram No. 4 to go already (15 minutes in an old tram during summer feels like forever and a day) when one of said loonies started talking to the air standing beside him. It turned into a heated discussion and then he just turned around and shouted a very detailed fashion criticism (I don’t know, maybe the invisible friend was Coco Chanel’s ghost), which I pretended to ignore, but he wouldn’t let me, and shouted “Yes, you, with the stupid star tattoo (thanks, man), don’t pretend like you didn’t hear me, the shirt you’re wearing is terrible.”
It was the only monocolour shirt I owned, who knows what kind of reaction my other, very colourful statement pieces would provoke.

3) Empty trams on Sunday mornings
One time I was waiting for a tram and Tram 14 came along, the older model, with two separate cars. I was really tired (did I mention it was Sunday morning?) and wanted to sit down and as the tram approached, I realised one car was full, and the other was completely empty. Very naive as I was at the time, I didn’t think it was suspicious that grannies were standing in the first car when there was obviously room in the second car for them to sit. I jumped in, realised that someone had projectile vomited all over the tram, turned around and, to my horror, saw the door closing right in front of my face.
Two days ago I saw leftover kebab all over the place, so people are obviously evolving, trying to prevent the incident mentioned above.

4) The obnoxiously loud teenagers
“Oh my goooood, I had so much to drink last weekend, like 9 vodka-juices, dude, I was sooo crazy,” goes the elaborate speech with a suspicious amount of details for someone who was so wild that weekend.
“Pf, I had at least 11, I threw up (probably in the tram), don’t remember how I got home,” the next teenager in line, always one level above the previous braggy teen.
And then the champion drinker awaits his turn “That’s nothing, I mixed at least 5 different types of alcohol, dude, I was so wasted, ended up somewhere at Sljeme, where I was chased by a werewolf,” or something along those very credible lines.
Ok, we get it, you’re hormonal and think drinking makes you cool, but, please, that’s what Facebook statuses are for (feeling lit, or whatever it is kids these days are saying.)

5) Every single member of the human race during summer
You know the drill, normally, you’d be waiting for a new tram and thanking all air-conditioning gods out there for inventing that beautiful machine, but sometimes you’re in a hurry, so you have to get on the dreaded old tram, the One-That-Has-Lowly-Windows-And-No-Air-Conditioning.
“Why have you forsaken me??” you curse the air-conditioning deities as you stand next to somebody’s sweaty back, or even worse, armpit. You somehow manage to survive and then get off the tram to the sweet, sweet heat, loving every single one of the 40 degrees outside.


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