Split WWII Refugee Tales: A Diary for Puse (Part XIV)

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Part XIV of A Dairy for Puse continues on April 19, 2016, the latest installment of a mother’s diary to her daughter from 1919 – 1953, capturing a moment of Dalmatia and Dalmatian exile in history.

Start at the beginning with Part I here


March 12, 1936

Time goes by so fast! Mom forgot to write about Puse´s first independent trip to Graz. To Austria, alone crossing the border, she stopped in Zagreb, was a guest of Elsa Kučera and was sightseeing with her the whole day, was at a tea party at Mrs. Šenoa, a wife of a writer, a very nice lady and her son and daughter-in-law and left on the third day.

But as soon as she realized to be in a foreign country, she felt homesick. They tried to comfort her, but it was not helping, she was just crying for the first few days: want to go home, want to go home! There´s no place like home! Yet, she managed to overcome this.

Moreover, at the prom of Putzi, she was the main subject of attention, because she learned their Austrian dance in no time – and even slipped when dancing with some little prince, which caused uncontrollable laughter of everyone present.

In Graz, Puse gained some new acquaintances, all of them students, who were really into studying, so she discovered, that nothing goes without studying, in the west. She learned to ride a bike and even to speak a bit German and when she got back, she was describing her stay with excitement and told us about trips they did in the Austrian folk costume.

This year, Puse is in the seventh grade and although it is considered to be the hardest one, she is very successful and always says that learning was easy this year.

Sometimes Ivo helps her with physics, and it is just because I ask him to do it. The other day, she was the one asking for help with some obelisk. “Obelisk in physics?”, I wonder, “What can it be?” And even Ivo was surprised and more because of curiosity, than because of wanting to help her, he told her to bring the book, so he could see that. And when she came with the book? Squaring the circle (in Croatian: Obilazak četvorine). Again, Puse read the words too quickly and we all burst out laughing.



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