Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Column - Croatia, The Week In Review 9

Apologies for the lack of a Thursday column this week – lifestyle temporarily on hold during a busy week in the UK!

News this week comes from London.

1. Learning Croatian

As regular readers are aware, there is a great Croatian language school in West London, for those that need lessons. Click on the link at the top of this page for more information. If self study is more your style then you may be interested to know that there is a new publication by Routledge called Colloquial Croatian. The pack consists of a book, cd’s and tapes and is written by Celia Hawkesworth, who published a similar book a few years ago. It aims to give you a good grasp of conversational Croatian by the time you’ve finished. Compared with the book I have, published by the Croatian Centre for Foreign Languages, it proceeds at a rapid pace but it’s bang up to date. I found just one copy, at a central London Waterstones, priced at £26.53, but it’s been published in England, USA and Canada.

2. Croatians in London

I picked up a free magazine at Northfields tube station called Fusion, the magazine for Central and Eastern Europeans in London, and was surprised to find that although Slovenia was in, Croatia wasn’t. Maybe the border between the two countries is where South East Europe starts and Central and Eastern Europe finishes. Still, I’ve asked the question.

3. Croatian Visitors to London

It's good news that the visa requirement was recently dropped for Croatian visitors to London. Not such good news that it seems at some airports (Luton was mentioned) Croatian arrivals seem to be being singled out for extra searches and questions. I would imagine that Croatian visitors to England would be amongst the best behaved of all global visitors and it doesn’t do entente cordiale any good at all if they are discriminated against in this way, so please let Croatians pass through entry requirements like any other “non visa” citizens.

4. Croatia Airlines in London

We’ve commented before about the relatively high cost of flying to London with Croatia Airlines. What I didn’t know was that the airline has, for some time, been singled out for a significantly higher rate of tax to land at Heathrow than most other European countries. It appears that persistent lobbying, over many years, has now been successful and the rate will be reduced to the “normal” level, though not till the end of the year.


Today's photo is of a street light in Pučisca on Brac Island, made of the local white stone. I'm still waiting for an answer from the New York Times as to why they believe that, contrary to so many other reports, the White House was built from stone from Maryland and Virginia, rather than Brac, Croatia. For more details see April 1st posting - yes that part of it was true!

I’ll be back in Croatia on Saturday though I hear the weather forecast is not good so, if you spend a wet Bank Holiday Weekend in England, take comfort that you've probably not missed better weather elsewhere.


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