“Travels to a Different Time” ; 2August1974: Drače, Yugoslavia: Do I Follow My Heart or Logic? A Melted Shoe and A Heart to Match

I have been in Drače for over a week. It has been a well-deserved break from the rigours of Romania. An idyllic and mostly undiscovered place where strangely many end up by accident or chance. Yugoslav Twilight Zone. I could have easily missed it had I been in another car. Why am I here? One wonders if life is nothing but a stream of coincidences. Not to be macabre but I might very well have ended up dead at the bottom of a gorge with these treacherous roads.

You see I have a problem and that is Mirela. We have become good friends despite communication difficulties. My heartstrings have been pulled probably for the first time. But is it mutual? I think we are ready to come to some conclusion on this but her security sems to be tightening with her brother hanging around with her. Is this a result of parental radar? Serbians are inherently conservative and to see their daughter hanging around with a long haired may be causing some concern. But time is running out as she is heading back home to Belgrade in a couple of days. Should I follow her and carry on a relationship on the sly but as for her family isn’t that disrespectful? I suppose I can visit in another year. After tossing and turning all night I am leaving but not without misgivings. Perhaps if we discussed this? But when two people are on the verge perhaps a discussion is too early.

Woke up on the pier to a vicious “dirty old man cough” by a fisherman that rivals my own famous throughout Europe! I am heading out Easy Rider style on the back of André’s Suzuki 250. A farewell kiss and hug to Mirela. Her eyes tell the story as she says I will miss you and let’s keep in touch. Feeling like I have made a bad decision we roar off northward with a heavy feeling on my heart. I don’t have the spirit to write about the rest of the day other than I lost my watch on the road and one of my shoes melted on the bike’s exhaust. Have I made a terrible mistake? A melted shoe and a heart to match.

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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