Get Away from my Bottle!
Two days ago, in Split, the second largest city in Croatia, and according to many the most beautiful city in the world, there was a fight in the city centre, at about 01.00 p.m. So what? Big deal with a heat wave sweeping over the city overcrowded with tourists and with tension raised to the extreme. Except, that this was a sad fight in which Croatia lost. Two guys got into a fight over an empty plastic bottle that both of them tried to retrieve from a container with the intention of selling later for 0.50 kunas or 0.06 euros per piece.
On one side we have tourists who come to the city to have fun and enjoy. It’s hot, people get thirsty, they buy water and soft drinks and on the other side you have guys fighting over their empty bottles. Because 0.50 kunas means the world to them, bottle by bottle, half a kuna by half a kuna, at the end of the long day you have spent combing the containers and fighting with other combers for the territory, you put some 10 euros in your pocket and call it a day.
In the same city, at the same time opening of another new hostel on attractive location is eagerly expected. It is scheduled for 1 August and the proud owner, former Mayor of Split and current representative in Croatian Parliament, Željko Kerum boasts that the hostel is already fully booked until 1 October. The former Split Mayor is well known for his many successess in private and professional life. All his companies are in bankruptcy proceedings, his employees have not received salaries since 2012, he never paid his creditors, or it turned out that his biggest creditors were all members of his family, and so were first in line for payment. He never appears in the Croatian Parliament while at the same time receiving an enormous salary at the expense of Croatian tax payer, and although he always talks about himself as an entrepreneur, he merely provided employment to all members of his family and wide circle of friends in the public sector during his mandate, he drives a fancy car, his wife drives a fancy car, his son drives a fancy car…
I forgot to mention that the two bottle warriors from the beginning are 78 and 83 years old. Probably when they were working, they believed and waited for their retirement and had hopes of spending it peacefully and with dignity. If they are healthy retired people don’t need much, a little something to eat, their own place to lie down and enough to pay the bills. They probably didn’t expect that they would still be on the labour market at their age having to fight for access to each container and feeling cornered.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the new hostel will be called the Corner.