When Was Your Golden Era of Life in Croatia? Ankica Mamic in Zagreb

Total Croatia News

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April 15, 2020 – So when your golden era of life in Croatia? A new series looking back to happier times through the eyes of Croatia’s residents. First up, long time TCN fan and cook extraordinaire, Ankica Mamic in Zagreb.  

I have had many requests to add different content – preferably happier – to mix up with the corona misery. I hear your pain. If you think constantly reading corona news is draining, spare a thought for those whose job it is to report on it all day. 

So here is an idea, and I am very grateful to my good friend Ankica Mamic for giving it such an excellent start – When Was Your Golden Era of Living in Croatia?

A few weeks ago, we started a series called Foreign Self-Isolation Stories: Do You Feel Safer? asking expats locked down in Croatia comparing how Croatia was handling the situation compared to their home country. We have had almost 40 great interview responses so far, from Hong Kong to Honduras, China to Mexico, and Japan to New Zealand. 

The next logical extension was Corona Voices in the Diaspora, checking how Croatians abroad were faring where they found themselves, compared to back in the Homeland. 

And then, to try and add a little happiness, we started Expats in Isolation: My Top 10 Experiences in Croatia. 

You can find all these, along with the submission guidelines for each section, underneath the interviews in the individual articles in this section.  

But I also wanted to find a way for people living in Croatia to reflect on happier times, so we thought we would try with a series looking at people’s recollections of their favourite era living in Croatia. If you would like to contribute, please send your text, 4-6 photos, an intro paragraph about and (if you want) a link to your website to [email protected] Subject Golden Era. 

And now, let’s hear from about the golden years from Ankica Mamic. 

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Croatia is a beautiful country and if we were to talk about the beauties and advantages of living in it visible only to the eye, the list would indeed be exceptionally long. However, it’s not only the “outside” that is always beautiful. Some of the nicest memories happen when life and business, personal and one’s general goals are achieved.

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I would like first to go back to the late 1980s, a time marked by the fall of communism and the rise of a centuries-old desire of having one’s own country. I was mature enough then but also still young, harbouring elation and passion, to experience and comprehend those events. I practically “lived on a diet” of news, followed all the talking points and events, and impatiently anticipated the next bit of news. Unfortunately, we quickly realised that achieving our dream was going to be difficult and painful. The war began and our lives changed overnight. Nonetheless, that difficult period of life brought about so many nice things. A sense of community, as well as devising and seeking solutions to life’s problems. Gathering in the basements of Zagreb restaurants were groups of people who in various ways wanted to give their contribution. I joined them with much enthusiasm and developed a closeness with those people who had a positive influence on my life and who quickly became important to society. Most of all, I was able to learn a lot from them because they inspired me to seek the best within me.

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I also recall the fears I experience at that time. Though Zagreb was relatively peaceful, but organising life under the sound of sirens proved to be difficult. I found it especially worrisome that my daughter, who was ten years old at the time, had to attend classes. We knew that the price of freedom was great but, nonetheless, happiness that seemed to be dawning after the war seemed to have been worth it.

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The consequences of war were as expected. A long period of adjustment ensued. The return to normality and recovery was slow. Fortunately, we lived to see better times. I especially recall the period from 2000 to 2006, a time of economic boom. I myself, as a relatively young businesswoman, identified and took advantage of those opportunities. During that time, I founded a public relations agency. It was a profession which, in all practical terms, had not existed yet, but opportunities began to appear. Living and working in Croatia during that time was really gratifying. In time, we eventually got our long-awaited Zagreb-Split motorway, for which our parents had been paying state contributions, and which finally enabled us to spend weekends in beautiful Dalmatia. It is from that period of time that I carry my fondest memories of the coastline, sailing and discovering Croatia’s islands, socialising as well as enjoying Croatian cuisine and wines. Indeed, the parts of the economy that experienced a boom since Croatia’s independence definitely included Croatian cuisine and wines.

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Life is made up of good and not so good days and years. I always endeavoured to learn something in any crisis I encountered. However, the current crisis we are now sharing with the world, somehow seems to be the hardest of them all. I wonder what little goodwill possibly come of it after it has passed. Perhaps there is something. Croatia now has the opportunity to examine the reasoning behind its huge state apparatus and cleanse itself of the many unneeded organisations and agencies. A small light at the end of the tunnel is the collapse of populism, which has been proven to be completely powerless in the current crisis.

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You can connect with Ankica Mamic via LinkedIn

To read more in any of the four series mentioned above, click here.



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