After making my way to Otočac on a bus from Zagreb and being met by my Mum’s Cousins and their daughters that live in the area, we went and met their families. It was a nice evening getting to meet people who I have only seen photos of and heard about from others. It was oddly comfortable and the teenagers all did a great job of being translators between me and their parents. My tiny bit of broken Croatian can only get me so far. I can kind of piece things that people say together a bit more than I am able to speak.

I was kindly made up a plate of spinach and potato, which was amazing. I really appreciated that and especially as they were trying to figure out what to feed a vegan. After chatting for a bit and getting to meet everyone we then headed off to the Plodine (1 of 3 supermarkets in town) so I could pick up some food and bits to take to the house with me.

So for anyone that doesn’t know. There is a house that my Teta (Aunt) built here that I am using as a base for my travels. Part of the reason my Teta wanted to build this house was so that there was somewhere for us in Australia to come and stay. She wanted to create a space where we could be comfortable and visit and connect with Croatia. That connection was always important to her. Unfortunately Teta was diagnosed with cancer in 2016 and passed away a few years ago. She never got to return to the house after being diagnosed and sadly didn’t get to spend as much time here as she had hoped.

It has been quite emotional for me to be here. It’s been nice for me to have this space and time alone to process a bunch of stuff. I lived with Teta in 2014 for a few months when things in my life went a bit crazy. I am so glad that I got to have that time with her before she was sick and I was grateful for the all the time I got to spend with her before she passed. I’m lucky that she left a legacy like this house behind so that I can come and connect with a place that she loved. I can see the views that she chose and remember the conversations and times that we chatted about this place.

Anyway, I digress. After the supermarket we came to the house and I was given the run down on all the things. Especially that there was a wasp nest on one of the windows (outside). After my house orientation I was left alone to settle in.
I pretty much watched the wasp nest for a while. I’ve never seen a nest that close up before and it was really interesting watching them and trying to figure out what was going on.

The next day I got a text letting me know that in the afternoon the wasps would be removed. I spent the morning watching and filming the wasps a bunch. Trying to let them know I was sorry but they were getting evicted. I don’t think they understood me.

Natalia (my Mum’s Cousin) and her family came over. Her partner looks after bees and collects honey so he had the safety gear for wasp removal, and came in and took care of the nest. I get that having a wasp nest preventing me from opening windows to the house is something I need gone. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad about displacing someone from their home. Once the nest was removed I was told just to wipe down the shutter where the nest was attached to and remove the residue of the nest there so that they didn’t start to build it again.

After that they took me out to the Lidl and the Konzum (other 2 supermarkets – kinda like Aldi) to look around and pick up any other bits. We then went to a cafe for a drink before they dropped me back home. I went to look at cleaning where the wasp nest was but instead watched as 2 wasps (who had obviously been out and about when their home got removed) tried to figure out what had happened. It was interesting watching them looking around and as they approached each other kind of running their feet over the heads and antennae of each other to communicate. I was feeling really bad. I just kept coming back to watch them. Later that night a third wasp had also appeared and the 3 of them huddled together in the corner of the window and the shutter where their home had been.

On Sunday I went out for lunch with Natalia and her family. They took me out to pizza place. We went got there a bit before our booking so got to go for a bit of a walk around. It’s such a lovely area. I had held off eating as they let me know the day before they were taking me out and I was glad I did. I devoured the entire pizza. It was great. Just did the old school thing I used to do which was order a vegetarian with no cheese. I also learnt how to say bez sira (no cheese). I figured that one might come in handy.

After lunch, we went to the police station as I had to report and register where I was staying. Generally when you stay in accomodation like a hotel, etc. they report where you are. However as I am just in a house I need to go fill this in at the cop shop. Which was fine. Apparently he didn’t fill something in properly though and the next day when someone figured that out I just sent a photo of my passport for them to fix it on their end.

After getting back I went and watched the wasps some more. I was kind of trying to figure out how to get rid of the 3 wasps especially as I knew I needed to clean the shutter. I just felt really bad and hadn’t come up with a solution yet so they got to stay huddled together for another night.

So when I’m not travelling around and just living home life. You get wasp updates it seems. If you have bothered reading this far, kudos. So it’s Monday, and during the day another 2 wasps have rocked up. We are at 5 now. I’m starting to realise okay, they are collecting and finding more and I need to clean this shutter so they don’t set up shop again. But how am I going to deal with this. I walked away to do some actual work.

When I came back in a few hours there were 3 wasps about and I had a bit of a plan. So the shutters on the windows were open and I realised I could close them. So 1 wasp was on the other window side and I just started moving the shutter a bit. I jolted it and the wasp flew away from the window and I closed that shutter. Aha. This could work and I’m not hurting them just moving them along. The other window shutter how had the 3 wasps on it. So I tried my jolting shutter technique again and once they all did fly off a bit surprised I closed this one too. Now they were locked out of where they had been living.

I just left it as is and hoped that meant they went and found somewhere else to sleep that night. The next day when I went and checked. The closed shutters had succeeded in keeping the wasps out. Now was a good time to actually clean the old nest remnants away. So I did some window cleaning and opened the shutter again.

Two wasps returned but they obviously didn’t want to land on the shutter I had just cleaned. I had used a bit of cleaning spray. They hung around for a bit and tried to regroup on the other window side to figure out what to do next. Whatever they decided it was to leave. They haven’t been around the last few days.

Besides the wasp excitement I have been for a walk into town to pick up a few things, and today I had a plumber come over to fix a water leak from the toilet. It is literally just a week of settling in and a completely different pace of life to what I have had recently. The next few weeks will be a bit more exciting.

Tomorrow I am actually catching the bus back to Zagreb to pick up a rental car on Saturday for the remainder of my stay. That way I can do day trips, get around and see some things and have some more interesting posts to share with you than this one. I will also go and buy my camping gear this weekend for Outlook Origins next week and MoDem the following week.

It’s been really good just getting on top of work this week and taking it slowly with these two festivals pretty much back to back. I have enough time to come back, wash my clothes, check emails, and take care of anything that can’t wait another week. Then after Modem, I will probably have another week that’s been a bit like this one.