From America and Japan: Two Foreigners Settle in Croatia Satisfied

Lauren Simmonds

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In a sea of depressing and paradoxical sagas about there not being enough job, high enough wages, and even situations in which establishments are forced to close due to a lack of staff, each and every positive story shines like a diamond among rocks.

Not a day goes by in Croatia where one doesn’t read about negativity. From the less than favourable economic situation to the plight of the nation’s disenchanted youth fleeing on planes and buses to Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland in search of a better wage and more opportunities.

Then you have the total opposite. On the next page of whatever newspaper you happen to have picked up at a cafe, you read about how otherwise popular coastal bars and restaurants have been ”forced to close their doors for the season because they can’t find the staff”. A paradox? Yes, quite. 

While droves head to Western Europe and restaurant owners across the country allegedly battle it out for staff, each offering a better wage, more food, nice accommodation, more time off, it seems rather bizarre to hear of situations where a person simply can’t get a job. A few weeks ago, we reported on the rather uncomfortable situation in a pastry shop in Pula, where a sign read that unfortunately, there was ”nobody to serve” customers.

This odd situation in Croatia shows no sign of recovery, and while the masses flee from Slavonia and coastal establishments in some of Croatia’s most popular destinations, which otherwise never experienced problems until now, struggle to get the staff, foreigners willing to pay their taxes and live their lives as law abiding citizens here are being much more quiet in their arrival to the country.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of August, 2018, a Japanese and an American citizen have done what a great many born and raised here fail miserably in understanding, they left the comforts of their own successful nations and moved here to Croatia. Matt and Tetsuya both say they find Croatia to be incredible, and are doing well here. Matt came to visit, and two years later, he’s not even considering the thought of potentially leaving.

“I should’ve been here for only three months, but two years later… I just love this place, so I decided to stay here,” said waiter Matt Moyers.

Tetsuya worked for six years in Germany, and after Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and even the glitz of the capital of Berlin, he concluded that he was in need of some sunshine and sea.

“My hometown is Okayama and it looks like Split, between the mountains and the sea. I missed the sea, so I stayed,” commented the Japanese chef, Tetsuya Sakata.

The pair were asked about what they respectively consider to be the three best things in Croatia. For Matt from the United States, it has to be nature, the food, and the people, and for Tetsuya, the people and the wonderful food are clear winners. The chef added that he’s happy to be here.

“If one thing in Croatia could change, it should ease the process of startups for entrepreneurs,” Matt said, and Tetsuya agreed with him: “There’s a lot of paperwork surrounding contracts or permits, and you end up waiting for the papers for a long time,” added Tetsuya.

Contrary to what we’re so used to constantly having to listen to and read about, Matt refreshingly claims he sees many more advantages in life here in Croatia than he does faults.


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