My Croatian Home #5

Since Kristen and I both knew we were going to live in Zagreb, we decided to live together! However, we did not know that we would be living with two other people at the time. We found our rooms on Erasmus, which is a student foreign exchange program with cheap housing. Two rooms were being offered on the website so we rented them for the two of us. Once I arrived, I realized we would be living with two other people. At the time, I thought this would be kind of weird because it felt like I was going in blind again like freshmen year. However, this type of living arrangement is interesting for me because I have different housemates every month. For June, I was living with a Brazilian and a German. They recently moved out and taking their place is another German and a fellow American! I have found it to be nice living with these other people because it gives me an opportunity to make new foreign friends in a different way.

Now for our actual house… It is a traditional Croatian home that has not been updated since my landlord lived there. I semi-wish I was joking. When I moved in, she told me she had not changed much since she moved out some 30 years ago. It is definitely different than what I am used to back home, but the house has grown on me. One thing that does bother me is how they wash their clothes here. We have a washer that takes THREE HOURS to wash one small load of laundry. After that, you must hang it up and wait all day for it to dry. My landlord looked at me like I was crazy when I asked her where the dryer was and now I understand why. That is one thing I cannot wait for when I get home, an American style washer and dryer.

On the plus side, our bathroom doesn’t have the European style showers where they are hardly big enough to fit a small human. However, we have a large bathtub with a shower head, but the shower head isn’t connected to the wall. It basically hangs off the bathtub and you have to hold it above your head to shower. This is actually quite difficult because we only have a thin shower curtain and so the bathroom gets soaked very quickly.

Overall, it is interesting living somewhere new, but I feel like I can’t necessarily call it home because it doesn’t have any of my decorations or belongings on the wall to make it feel like mine. It just feels like a place where I hold my things while I am at work or traveling, but it makes me appreciate my home all the more.

One thought on “My Croatian Home #5

  • July 5, 2018 at 3:25 pm
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    Alyssa,

    Thanks for this post as you continue through your experience in Croatia!

    It must have been quite a surprise to find out that you’d be living with two additional people! It does sound like you are taking this development in stride, so kudos to you for that.

    It’s interesting to read about all these moments of cultural dissonance that you’ve been encountering throughout your experience, as well as sifting through your reactions to them. I know that I get impatient waiting for my laundry to finish, so I couldn’t imagine a three-hour wait – perhaps this means you’ll stay more on top of your laundry than usual? Have you found different reactions to the living situation when comparing your American roommates to your German and Brazilian roommates? It’s always interesting to be in a situation where what you perceive to be normal or standard are challenged. While you may not have all of the creature comforts of home, I do hope that with time, you’ll find some homey qualities in your spot as well!

    -Josh

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