“Travels to a Different Time: 28July1974: Drače, Yugoslavia: Drače Dance Party: Fueling Gossip!  

Up early to hunt down food in Janina. Hot as blazes so early in the morning and a beautiful blue sky. I feel like I am drying out from my often-soggy Romanian trip. Chocolate wafer cookies and a rusk. It was simply too hot to have anything more complicated. I went to sit on the pier and met some students from a high school in Zagreb. Usual lunch and so blazing hot I found some shade to sit under. Met up with the students later in the afternoon. They said at night here there is nothing much to do. They said there was once a disco club in Janina which closed because the older folks said it was keeping them awake. No wonder young Yugoslavs are leaving the countryside. One of the students said the population of Drače in the winter was 10 people. Mirela arrived at the pier around 3 with a few young folk. One had a guitar and we played some music as I brought my harp on the trip. We stayed until 7 and I went back for dinner of bread and cheese and an orange juice that tastes like Tang. The Yugoslavs have great fruit juices but orange juice here is gross. Back to the pier with Mirela for an hour or so until her brother came to haul her back at 22:00. A few of us went to Nino’s house and he fixed me up with Vitamin enriched orange juice.

Nino said there was a monthly dance party at Janina so off a few of us went. This was a big event as many teens came from small villages. The old folks sat on the other side of the street gossiping. Someone said this will give them enough to gossip about until the next monthly dance. Two fights broke out in 30 minutes. The dance hall was the local cinema with the Yugoslav guys cruising with their shirts open but were doomed to failure as there was a shortage of girls. There were more adults up on the balcony with little children watching the spectacle below. Any event in a small town can often involve the entire community. The music deteriorated like a Romanian beer does after you open it. Walked home and crawled in the tent.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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