‘Dangerous Dubrava’ the Postscript: Losing a Phone in a Taxi

Paul Bradbury

February 25, 2024 – Dangerous Dubrava, the postscript to last week’s visit to supposedly the most dangerous hood in Zagreb.

It is a week since I went out for a pizza and drinks in the Zagreb neighbourhood of Dubrava, which many tell me is very dangerous. I was a little sceptical but decided to check it out, as you can see from the vlog below.

The story attracted the attention of the national media – indeed it was Index.hr’s most read story of the day with over 140,000 views. My conclusion – if this is the most dangerous hood in the capital, we should make it the symbol of Croatia, Full of Safety – is there a less threatening most dangeous hood in Europe.

And a nice postscript. Andrian, my Croatian friend and guide for the night (who ended up getting lost in Cafe Bar Secret before we had even hooked up last week. He messaged me earlier that he was again in Dubrava this afternoon, rather unexpectedly after losing his phone in Jarun. Andrian takes up the story…

“I sat there looking stunned at the screen, “Why of all places did you have to be in that part of Dubrava?”

You’d think quiet drinks in Jarun on a Saturday night would end exactly as it begun – without incident.

But as fate would have it, as I got out of my Taxi to get into my apartment something happened to me that many of your readers have experienced at least once in their lives… I lost my phone.

For better or worse, our phones and the information they store are vital to us. The last place you want it to be is in the backseat of a taxi you just got out of with no way to get it back, welcome to my Saturday night.

At 2am with my newfound inability to call my driver all I could do was send an email to the support team Gods of this ride-sharing company.

Morning came, and whilst sipping my coffee I read my “We are sorry to hear about your phone, we will do everything we can… etc.” response from the company.

Fortunately, I was able to track my phone’s location and status.

It was located in Dubrava, about 100m from Cafe Bar Secret… where we barely escaped only a week ago. 

I ordered another taxi and went to face Dubrava a second time.

I arrived in a narrow alley with unfinished houses and their unrendered, red brick facades.

I stood in front of the home when a young woman walked out on the front porch.

“Are you here to pick up a lost phone?” she said with a rather reassuring and friendly tone.

After a brief conversation, I learned that this family not only immediately found the phone, they charged it and did their best to track me down. They used the notifications on my phone to try and figure out who I was. 

They apologised for the privacy intrusion but they were worried that I would never find them, their only hope was to learn who I was and contact me or the friends messaging me.

They could only see the names of people sending me messages, and so they frantically messaged everyone they could find via social media to explain the situation… only for these people to message my phone… which was located in Dubrava (I need more intelligent friends, yes I know you’re reading this, you know who you are)

This family, without ever having met me spent their entire Sunday morning trying to find the owner of a phone thoughtlessly left in the backseat of their father’s taxi. 

We spoke about all the people who leave important belongings in the car and the struggles they’ve endured to return them. 

“We get it, it’s late, it’s dark, you sometimes drop things. But why would I steal from people? What am I going to do with someone else’s phone?” said the man, placing the phone back into my hands.

He then spoke about the people who verbally abused him on trips home, only to also lose their phones and then accuse him of theft the next day to his Taxi company. Even for these people, people who try to get him fired, he tries his best to help them.

This man who drives the tired masses home every Saturday night is only trying to make an honest day’s living to put a roof over his family’s head.

I did not find the mythical den of criminals in Dubrava that day. Just a hard-working family that picks up the pieces the rest of Zagreb drops.

Great story and one that mirrors my experience the day I dropped my laptop in the street in central Zagreb and didn’t notice until the next morning.


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