I went with an old friend to Hvar Island, Croatia for a three-week stay. Times have changed since we were prowling clubs in Washington DC, many of which have closed. Back then a phone number had a reasonable chance of leading to a date and not every club was built around table service. Flaking and cockblocking weren’t yet nationwide epidemics. The decline for my hometown seemed to accelerate when Obama won, sending in a wave of pasty Midwesterners who thought they would change the world with their hope. The only thing that changed was how much fatter the DC population became.
There aren’t a lot of nightlife options in Hvar. Before 2am you have about four or five bars where you can actually approach women and then after 2am you only have two clubs. The most popular bar and club combo is Carpe Diem. Most people start at Carpe Diem Bar around midnight or so to warm up for Carpe Diem Club, which is a ten minute taxi boat away. I quickly found out that if you don’t have any prospects before going to the club at 2am, you’re in for a tough night. There are simply too many aggressive guys at the club trying to make something happen.
The only issue at the bar was the seating. There is a ring of elevated benches around the patio that girls like to sit at, making them elevated and tall, like they are relaxing on a throne. I tried a couple approaches but the girls had too much positional power. The queens didn’t put one scrap of energy into the conversation.
On our fifth night in Hvar, we went to the bar early so we could get a seat on the elevated bench. We picked a prime spot with a view of both the crowd and the Mediterranean Sea, soaking in the air and reminiscing on old times. Now married with a kid, my friend spent more time remembering those old times than continuing them, while I never stopped living that life.
I was starting to feel a bit of pressure because in Hvar I had yet to bang a girl, even though I didn’t care much for the mostly Anglo women on display. It took a while for my mind to get used to the idea of capturing an Anglo flag instead of a new Eastern European one.
It didn’t take long for three British girls to stand in front of us. They asked us if the seats around us were taken. Two of the girls gravitated to my friend, eventually sitting on his right side, while the third, a tanned brunette, sat to my left.
“This is a good seat,” I said, “you can see everything from here.”
“Have you been on the island long?” she asked, defaulting to a standard hostel conversation.
“This is our fifth night here. We have two more weeks left.”
“Only in Hvar?”
“Yes. When planning the trip we wanted to pick one place where we could relax without having to hop around. I know a lot of people want to see as many Croatian islands as possible, but for us it’s just about hanging out. We haven’t seen each other in 18 months.”
“Why haven’t you seen your friend in 18 months?”
“I’ve been living in Europe during that time while he’s still back in the States. I convinced him to come and visit me. You’re from England right?”
“You guys can take a 30 euro flight on Easy Jet to come here, but for us it’s at least a $1,000 round trip, sometimes more. A lot of Americans stick to the Caribbean or Latin America when it comes time to take a vacation. How long are you in Hvar for?”
“Five days and then I go back.”
“Go back to work?”
“I’m kind of in between jobs right now.” She put her head down slightly. “What do you do?”
For a split second I paused, debating if I should give her the playful answer or real answer. “I’m a writer.”
“Oh cool. What kind?”
“I do mostly travel writing right now. I stay in a country for a few months and put out a small guide, mostly on the nightlife and other things.”
“What is the name of your guides?”
“You don’t want to know. They’re very offensive and crude. I don’t let me sister read it.”
“Umm, okay. But you make money from it?” Almost every girl asks that. They find it hard to believe that you can make a living from writing.
“No. My parents send me $10,000 every month to fund my lifestyle.”
She gave me a confused look, not sure whether to take me seriously or not.
“I’m just kidding,” I added. “My job pays the bills.”
During the conversation I caught glimpses of her petite body. She was wearing sandals, a summer skirt that went to the middle of her thighs, and a blue tanktop. She had not much in the way of a chest so I was curious about her ass and if it was big enough for my needs. Her father is Israeli and there was a hint of it in her face, with a strong chin, large almond eyes and long eyelashes. Her black hair was slightly curly and pulled back with a fastener. She told me she was 24 but looked maybe a year older.
“Do you have any stereotypes about America?” I asked. She paused. Knowing what she was thinking, I added, “And it’s okay if they’re negative. I’m not a sensitive American.”
“Well, Americans are loud. I see them on the tube and they are always the loudest ones.”
“What do they talk about?”
“Just random stuff. They seem to get excited at the smallest things. The girls also have a weird way of talking, almost nasal like.” She imitated the speech, which I quickly identified as the Valley Girl accent.
“Yeah that gets annoying even for me. I don’t say ‘like’ or ‘really’ to foreign people because it makes it harder for them to understand what I’m saying. I like to think I speak the Queen’s English, all proper and grammatically correct.” She laughed and I took that as a cue to move two inches closer to her. I looked over to my friend, who was doing fine holding court with her two friends.
“Also, the American humor is a little obvious,” she said. “It’s not sarcastic like the British. Your humor is more dry actually, it’s not typical of Americans.”
“I get that a lot. In America we like to announce jokes by implying, ‘Okay here comes a joke so get ready to laugh!’ I think that takes a lot of fun out of it. Sometimes it’s okay to make a joke that the other person doesn’t get.” My drink was empty but I was still holding onto the glass.
“How about the American accent?” I asked.
“It feels slower.”
“Yes because we enunciate our vowels. We like vowels. British people hate vowels I think.” She wanted to interject but I continued: “This is why when British people sing, they sound American, because when you sing, you stress the vowels. If singing is beautiful, and British people sound American when they sing, that means that the American accent is beautiful.” She squinted her eyes and smiled, like I just pulled a trick on her.
“What do you think of British people?” she asked.
“I don’t like British guys. You say Americans are loud but they are worse. They also get semi-violent when they drink. I haven’t had much experience with the girls. They seem American at first glance.”
“We’re definitely more reserved than American girls. Right away they start telling you everything about themselves even if you didn’t ask.”
“It’s only with an American where you can know about their sex lives within only a couple minutes of meeting them. We’re also self-absorbed. We love talking about ourselves. If you’re in a group of American people, no one will listen. It becomes a competition to talk. It’s sad, really, like they didn’t get enough attention as a kid or something.”
I looked at my friend and asked him how he was doing. He didn’t seem interested in the girls so I knew he was keeping them entertained for me. The bar was filling up with guys, mostly from Norway and Sweden, and it seemed like the British girls wanted to go somewhere else to sample the island’s nightlife. I felt I had built enough rapport with my girl, Tanya, to let her know I had some interest in her. If she didn’t recoil, it would be a good prospect to pursue for the rest of the night.
“So did you meet the man of your dreams on the island yet?” I asked.
She gave a long pause, debating how she should answer.
“I met a guy last night.”
CONTINUED: PART 2