Friday, September 30, 2016

The September 11 in Zagreb (1)

I experienced the September 11, 2001, in Zagreb, Croatia--I wonder whether ''experienced" is the right word. I was renting a tiny cabin in the garden and allowed to use the kitchen and the bathroom in the landlady's house. I learned how to prepare unfiltered coffee there. On the day when I entered the kitchen for coffee, the door to the lounge was open, so I was able to see the landlady watching the TV. An airplane was stuck in the World Trade Center--I did't know whether it was the first one or the second one. It was before the collapse of the complex. I couldn't grasp what happened immediately. The landlady spoke Serbo-Croatian language and German. I didn't speak none of them.

Most of the young people I met in Zagreb spoke English. They were quick learners. Having glanced at the show, I took a walk to the city center and went to a cultural center called MaMa, where such young people gathered. It functioned as an "internet cafe." I learned about the attacks. During my years of travelling in Europe, I didn't carry a laptop.

The travelling I'm going to talk about began in May of the year. I was hungry for learning and also tired of living in Tokyo.

That month first I visited Budapest and participated in a dance workshop by then Marseilles-based American dancer Frey Faust. I already knew him in person because I had taken his class in Kyoto before the travelling. It was my plan to participate in his 2 workshops, in Budapest in the May and in Maribor in the June. Finishing the former, I decided to visit Zagreb. I was spontaneous.

A man I met at a youth hostel in Zagreb introduced me to the landlady. He looked up a local newspaper and then told me to move. The cabin was cheaper than the hostel, so I decided to take it. Later I learned that he was one of those bad guys who preyed on tourists. When he became asking me money repeatedly, I got suspicious and asked another tenant, a high school student who could speak English, to help me find out what was going on. She talked with the landlady and then explained me that I ended up paying more than the landlady asked for the guarantee. As I understood why he introduced me to the landlady who couldn't speak English, he disappeared. The landlady insisted such a bad guy must have been a Serbian--banal and everyday nationalism.

He spoke Spanish, too. He spoke Spanish when he chatted with a French tourist who understood Spanish, even though I was with them and the French man could speak English. I taped our conversation. I was carrying a DAT in order to create my "audio diary." A year later I used the tape for my own performance piece which I created and performed in Brussels.