Our director warned us that the Croatians were depressing, and mass slaughter is hard to present with any gaiety. Atrocity
blow-by-blows drain the thrills out of bombed-out, bullet-riddled buildings in short order. Until the bombing, Vukovar boasted the finest historic buildings in Croatia. Now the city is struggling to restore them to their original glory in hopes of boosting a shattered economy. Of course, magnificence doesn’t grow on trees, so the rebuild drags on in desolation.
A church that survived the bombing was a definite change of pace for us. The guitar concert there was a nice way to boost our interest in seeing another church. It also gave me more time to take in the fervent decor. An angel hung from each arm of Jesus’ cross. A side balcony had a detached arm protruding from the rail, holding a crucifix. I asked the guide about the arm, but if her answer explained a random arm, the concept was too profound for my simple brain.
After the stories of devastation and display of sketchy taste, we were surprised to enter a lovely brick-accented garden, complete with gazebo and fountain, for our home-hosted lunch. The family also hosted bed and breakfast guests as well as barbeques. The mosquitoes were well acquainted with the attractions there and feasted along with us, but the setting was worth it—especially with cherry liqueur to dull the itch.
Our hostess told us that her daughter got her a job during the occupation, doing laundry for the UN. She learned two words in English–“hello” and “tomorrow”. When the delivery man showed up with so many bags that she had to stay up all night to get it done, she learned “day after tomorrow.”