The Frog, The Kiwi, The Yank, and Judith Krantz

I’m bored”, says Bruce the Kiwi. “Let’s do something crazy.”

Mi-she-leee, I told you we should have eaten first”, droned Solene the hottest French girl this side of the Adriatic in her oh-so sexy Parisian accent.

OK, let’s go and get pizza by that shop outside Pile,” I offered as I slowly got up from the slippery boulder I’m sitting on and started looking for my shoes.

Solene, Bruce, and I have been sitting on the boulders on the far end of the harbor outside the city gates of the Old Town in Dubrovnik for the last couple of hours drinking the rakija (fruit flavored moonshine) I pilfered from the hostel’s owner. We’ve been trading war stories about life on the road, as well as the subsequent adventures we have yet to have. We talked like we’ve all known each other for years.

I actually met Bruce earlier in the day while doing the city wall tour, and we immediately bonded over our shared love of seafood. After the tour, we headed out to Lokando Peskarija for a very indulgent seafood lunch that cost us more kunas than we cared to admit. Solene was someone he literally ran into earlier that night when he was hurrying to the clock tower to meet me for drinks. As apology, he invited Solene to join us for drinks and dinner.

So off the three drunk musketeers went in search for food. Once outside the Pile gate, we ducked in the first pizza shop we saw, and Solene bought 2 whole large pies for us. I guess she wasn’t kidding when she said she was hungry. Bruce, on the other hand, decided that we have not had enough alcohol in our system and decided to pop over the liquor next door and bought a huge bottle of rakija and Pipi (a local orange-y, lemony soda made in Split).

On the way back to the Old City, we came across a street musician playing flamenco music just inside the walls. We stopped to listen to him play, and Solene, not wanting to waste another minute to get her food, sat down by the wall across the musician, and started eating the pizza she bought. Bruce pulled out the plastic cups he had stashed in his pack and started mixing the rakija with the Pipi. Best impromptu picnic ever.

After Sandro, the musician, finished his set, we invited him to join us. Grateful for the food, company, and booze, he then offered to show us some of Dubrovnik’s hidden spots as a token of his appreciation. He took us to a couple of cliffside bars, which gave us the most amazing view of the Adriatic Sea bathed in the light of the full moon. Then to cap off the night, he showed us where the best beach in Dubrovnik is.

However, said beach was not only private but locked up for the night. Solene and I, drunk on cheap beer and even cheaper rakija, decided to climb over the fence to get in. Poor Bruce, who was against the whole idea, had no choice but to follow us. Sandro and his guitar followed suit.

Once down at the beach, Solene and I took off our shoes and started running up and down the coast giggling and laughing like a pair of drunk schoolgirls. Sandro and Bruce settled on one of the boulders by the water and continued drinking the cheap rakija and Pipi. After Solene and I got over the giggles, we laid down on the sand a feet away from where the boys were, and stared at the beautiful clear night sky.

After what seemed like eternity, Solene broke the stillness of the night when she started singing an old French ballad. Sandro, recognizing the song, picked up his guitar and accompanied Solene. Sandro and Solene then spent the next 2 hours alternately singing Spanish, French and Portuguese love songs. Bruce and I, having nothing to contribute to the musical magic the other two were producing, just sat quietly on the boulders with our feet dangling in the water and enjoyed the sheer magic of the night.

Now I know what being in a Judith Krantz novel feels like”, I said to Bruce passing him back the bottle of rakija that was parked by Sandro.

Who’s that?” he asked before taking a swig.

“Someone who writes super cheesy and hyperbolic romance books.” I answered.

“Ahhhh.. Got it”, he said handing me back the rakija. “It would’ve have been scary if I knew who she is then, yeah?”

“Fuck yeah!” I confirmed as I drained the last of the rakija straight from the bottle. “Cheers mate!”

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