Total Croatia News 2017 in Review: 25 of the Best Articles

Total Croatia News

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A 2017 Croatia in Review with a difference on December 21, 2017. No timeline here, but some of the highlights of the year through the keyboards of TCN writers all around Croatia and further afield. 25 of my favourite articles on TCN this year, from no less than 19 different writers.

Where to start and how to order the articles? I decided to do the list in alphabetical order or writer surname, as it was impossible to rank the articles from 1 to 25, which means that first up is…

Dora Colquhoun

One of the funniest people I have ever met, Dora drifted into TCN a couple of months ago, as she was looking for an expressive outlet to voice her Croatian experiences as a drama teacher in Rijeka. All four of her fabulous articles had us laughing out loud, and it was with sadness that we learned she was relocating back to the UK. And to Manchester of all places. Her final piece, reflecting on her stay in Croatia, was arguably her best – Short and Sweet: Croatia, It was Great to Meet. We wish you all the best, Dora, and hope to see you back in Croatia soon.

Nikolina Demark

Voted the best TCN writer of 2017 by her colleagues, I am not going to write anything more about Nikolina than I already have, or she will be asking for a pay rise. Lots of fabulous writing since she joined us 9 months ago, and three of her pieces made the list. The definitive guide to swearing, Swearing in Croatia: 10 Things to Know about the J-Word has already earned encyclopedia status. For a snapshot of the daily grind in The Beautiful Croatia, it is hard to beat Miss Denmark’s epic rant about her bank when trying to get credit to buy a new laptop. And next time you are buying souvenirs in a shop in Croatia, spare a thought for the sales assistant – this is how the experience looks for them.

Tea Hrzica

Mid-November brought a wonderful culinary addition in the form of Tea Hrzica, who has started a fabulous series called 101 Tastes of Croatia. In addition a look at the ingredients which go into the wondrous Croatian cuisine, Tea also has some very funky recipes with each one. Her first piece, on blitva, had a grown man in Oxfordshire running around the stores to find blitva for his own blitva pancakes. 101 Tastes of Croatia – 1. Blitva.

Stuart D. W. Jameson

September brought more hilarity in the form of the witty keyboard fingers of Stuart Jameson, a world traveller who has decided to call Zagreb home after just seven years on the road. Among the many chores that fill his life, getting rid of a lot of the crap he has accumulated over the years is high on the list. A stupendous piece on the joys of trying to sell one’s wares at a Zagreb fleamarket. Expat Experiences – Hrelic for Beginners.

Filipa Marusic

While others have been reporting the news, Filipa Marusic has been quietly putting together an extremely impressive portfolio on the cultural heritage of Croatia. Superbly researched pieces that have gone into considerable depth about some of Croatia’s lesser-known intangible UNESCO heritage and other protected Croatian cultural heritage, of which my favourite was this wonderful Exploring Croatian Cultural Heritage: Bednja Dialect in Varazdin County. Not even a litre of gemist is going to help talking to these people…

Miso Mihocevic

More culture arrived in April in the form of Miso Mihocevic. A former director of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Miso has had a very colourful past, much of which was in esteemed company. Two pieces stood out for me – his tribute to Roger Moore, who he knew personally, and including the Dubrovnik connection.  And one of the most interesting interviews of the year was with the first person to manage foreign currency outside Belgrade in former Yugoslavia. Of Art and Money Under Communism: Interview with Ljubica Vuckovic.

Dragana Niksic

Dragana started working for TCN on January 1 and immediately asked for a day off. She more than made up for it, however, building Total Zagreb from scratch and without assistance from her bedroom in Capljina in just 37 days, before moving back to Zagreb to run the site. Some great research is epitomised in this very useful guide on how and where to cross the border from Slovenia to Croatia, and rumour has it that the band, Dragana and the Zagreb Hookers is being formed as a tribute to her History of Zagreb Brothels

Joe Orovic

Readers of the New York Times may be familiar with the name, Joe Orovic, but for the really important stories, Joe chooses to write for portals which are at the level of the subject matter of the topic in hand, which is how TCN got to host his epic piece on how to clean a water tank on an island with no water, complete with video. Dalmatia’s Parched Islands: Getting Dirty for Some Clean Water. We hope that our plans to launch Total Zadar in 2018 come to fruition, in which case we will be hearing a lot more from the Muse from Iz.

Vedran Pavlic

The rock of TCN, without which the site would not function, Vedran has been with us almost from the very start, primarily doing several translations daily. He is also a great writer, and his annual political year in review articles invariably find themselves on Wikipedia. As the 2017 one will not be out before Christmas, a look back at the madness of the Croatian political scene in 2016

Tash Pericic

I am very grateful to Tash Percic for coming on board as Editor and Sales Director for Total Croatia Sailing, which launched on June 1. Apart from an impressive start there, Tash has been a regular contributor to TCN, with several great pieces. But nothing beat this one, and I will confess to a sadistic smile or two as I read the blow by blow account of Opening a Croatian Obrt: a Foreigner’s 3-Month Battle with Bureaucracy. Tash will be on the high seas for us in 2018, although in reduced capacity for us, as she and husband Captain Mirko will be starting their own sailing adventure with Sinbadsan Sailing. Good luck to both of you! 

Mirella-Marie Katarina Radman

A name you are likely to see a lot more of in 2018 as we beef up our Dubrovnik section and start with Total Korcula, Mirella-Marie Katarina Radman has quite a few stories to tell. One of the ones I enjoyed most was this lesser-known tale of how the legendary Fitzroy Maclean ended up with real estate on the island of Korcula: Korcula’s Real Life 007 – Sir Fitzroy Maclean, the Man Who Would Be Bond

Marko Rajkovic

It was great to add Marko Rajkovic to the TCN team a few months ago. A keen cyclist, Marko will be looking after Total Croatia Cycling in the New Year. A man of the Great Outdoors, he also produced this fantastic guide to picking mushrooms in Croatia.  Shrooms are in the Air: Croatian Mushroom Picking for Beginners.

Daniela Rogulj

Miss Total Split, the Dalmatian Bachelorette, and Hajduk Zivi Vjecno, Daniela has been a very versatile TCN regular for 18 months. She might write a lot about Hajduk and Split, but it was a trip to a punk festival in Primosten with her Dad that caught the eye. And not just mine – the legend that is Billy Bragg also shared Super Uho: How to Relive Your Punk Youth with Your Dad in Primosten

Mihaela Sego

Thanks to Mihaela, I now know how quickly wars can start in Croatia. After coming on board initially to help foreigners who were studying Croatian, Mihaela then wrote this brilliant guide to surviving Christmas in Croatia. But is the salad French or Russian? Who cares, the article was fab! How to Handle Christmas in Croatia, with a Side Dish of French Salad

Lauren Simmonds

It is a good job I do not see my Editor-in-Chief in the flesh too often, as my liver might not stand it, and we would be ejected from establishments for too much laughter. I am very grateful to Lauren for her efforts running the site since she took over the editor’s chair, while still finding time to write some absolute peaches. Two of the funniest of the year were her language fails, Smallpox, Diarrhoea and Free Handjobs, followed by Leprosy, Bitches and a Burek Named Desire. Had I let Lauren choose the top 25 articles, I am sure they would have had the words ‘Todoric’ and ‘blog’ in the title. Humour aside, her coverage of Todoric and Agrokor has been outstanding, none more so that this Ode to Ivica, all 6,000 words of it: How Agrokor Crisis Caused Earthquake in Government and Entire Croatian Economy.

Jelena Tamindzija

Jelena joined us in February and put Total Dubrovnik into shape in less than a month, a great effort. There were lots of great articles on culture, but the one that remains with me still reflects on some of the things people ask. Top 15 Silliest Questions Asked by Tourists in Dubrovnik

Iva Tatic

One of TCN’s most versatile writers, and a lady who has patented a sense of humour called Sahara Dry, Iva has been writing mostly for Total Croatia Wine, as well as helping out on topics such as Korcula, medical tourism and dogs. An avid researcher, I particularly enjoyed her three-part series on A History of Public Transport in Zagreb.

Senka Vlahovic

There are few finer ambassadors of eastern Croatia than Senka. Now living on the Dalmatian coast in Omis, she will drag you to Slavonia and Baranja at any opportunity. She has a wealth of knowledge and is very generous at sharing it. Meet the Oldest Inhabited Town in Europe… in Eastern Croatia

Nikolina Vujnovic

I am beginning to learn that writers called Nikolina are worth paying attention to in Croatia. Nikolina Vujnovic has been an excellent occasional contributor, focusing on the issues of human rights and the migrant crisis. Her pieces are always extremely well-researched and well-written, none more so than her most recent. Who is Responsible for the Death of Five-Year-Old Madina? 

25 articles from 19 of the 104 writers at TCN, forgetting not of course the fabulous photography of Romulic and Stojcic throughout the year. Fabulous effort from all 104 of you, but a final word perhaps to remember our youngest contributor of the year, Adrian from Baranja, aged just 11. With such young and enthusiastic talent in the next generation, 2018 and beyond should be an exciting time for TCN. 

On behalf of all of us, thank you for watching, have a great Christmas, and we look forward to seeing what 2018 might bring. Cheers!



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