Losing a Laptop in Zagreb: the Kindness of Strangers

Total Croatia News


Croatia is one of the safest countries in Europe. You can even lose your laptop on the streets of Zagreb and it will be returned to you, as I discovered on November 20, 2017. 

Croatia is one of the safest countries I have ever lived in. Ok, so I was living in Somalia before I moved to Hvar, but still… 

As a place to bring up a young family, it is really ideal, and one forgets just how bad things are in more ‘civilised’ countries and their cities and communities after being lulled into a more relaxed sense of security with the Croatian way of life. 

But did you know that Zagreb is a truly wonderful place to lose your laptop, a city where if you do, the kindness of strangers will ensure that it does not stay lost for long? 


Let me start by saying I have had more sober days in Croatia and it was not until this morning that I realised that my laptop was gone. 

Everything started well enough. The early morning bus from Varazdin had me in one of my favourite blogging and meeting positions in Zagreb by 10am – the lovely Hub Cooltura just south of the bus station – one of my favourite finds of the year.  


I worked until it was time to join the celebrations of the 20th anniversary birthday cake of Croatia’s oldest PR company at Manjgura – fabulous party and a great achievement. Congratulations to Kresimir Macan and the Manjgura team.  

As I was leaving the party to go to my next meeting, Kreso gave me some beers from the party to take home. I put them in my bag and off I went, feeling quite jolly and pleased with life. And so the evening unfolded and I got home to my village near Varazdin and was tucked up in bed by midnight. 


Feeling a little less than clever as I woke up, I decided to put the beers in the fridge and then go back to bed and catch up with my blogging. In went the beers, but beers were all that was contained therein. There was no laptop.  The power cable, my company stamp and my blogging glasses were all there, but no laptop. So confused was I that I even checked to see if I had put the laptop in the fridge. The laptop had well and truly gone. Vanished. I can’t believe it had been stolen, but there had to be some explanation. I retraced my steps of the entire day – I had not used the laptop since the morning at Hub Cooltura. 


Perhaps I had left it at Hub Cooltura. I called, but no. After the party, I took an Uber to the centre for my next meeting. I was dropped next to a new African restaurant. Curious, I went in to say hi and met Prince, the Nigerian owner, and we agreed to meet for an interview next time. Then off to drinks at Pinta, kebab and the bus home. I called all the places. No laptop. 

It had simply vanished. 

And just when I was at the very edge of my sanity, a Facebook connection request arrived. I get so many messages a day that I rarely bother with ones from people who are not already friends. It was from a guy called Matija:

“Hello, have you by any chance lost a laptop in Zagreb? Because I found one at the street yesterday with your name in the startup.” 

Unbelievable! Truly remarkable. But then the doubts set in. Was there going to be a ransom request? 

“The laptop was found on Gajeva Street in Zagreb. You can take it in comic shop “Strip knjižara Asteroid B612″, Gajeva 17, Zagreb.”


How totally bizarre. The laptop must have fallen out when I got out of the taxi, but my taxi arrived by the African restaurant in Gunduliceva, which is two streets away. I have heard about smart technology, but laptops which walk? I jumped in the car and drove straight to Zagreb, putting those beers back in the bag as a thank you. Things were going so well, I even found parking close by at the first attempt. And then my heart sank when I saw Gajeva 17 – it looked like it was due for demolition. Was someone playing a huge joke on me? I pushed the entrance door to the building and then saw a sign for the comic shop in the basement.  


But not before I met the interesting neighbour.  


And there, at the end of the corridor, was my beloved comic shop – was I about to be reunited with my trusty laptop, and the future of the TCN empire would be once more secure? 


Indeed I was! Meet Matija, my new hero and, together with his boss Vedran, the wonderful creatures who not only picked up the laptop, found and contacted the owner but also repaired it while they were waiting for me to drop by. True heroes! 


But was there some other superhero force at work? As fans of Total Hvar know, Jelsa has its very own superhero, Lavanderman. When Matija contacted me, Facebook told me that we had one common friend – Boris Buncuga, aka Lavanderman. Had Lavanderman taken a break from all those international women and come to help his Jelsa Kratke Rukave friend? I bought the Lavanderman comic as a souvenir of this very unusual day. 


Only to find myself mentioned in the comic, with my Jelsa carnival nickname, Bluberi (sometimes Blackberi).


It is a fabulous little comic shop, right in the centre. Not something you will find unless you look for it, but if you are a fan of TCN, I encourage you to visit and buy a comic or two, for Matija and Vedran did TCN a great service today, as well as showing just how fantastic life in Croatia can be. How many other capital cities in the world can you leave your laptop on the street and expect to see it again? 

Do stop by, or follow the shop on Facebook.


And now meet Lavanderman, above!




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