Story from Dolac

Story from Dolac

EVERY YEAR AFTER SUMMER WHEN EVERYONE RETURNS FROM THE SEASIDE, WHEN IT CEASES TO BE HOT AND THE FIRST WINDS OF FALL START BLOWING, CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF ZAGREB BEGIN TO VISIT EACH OTHER. VISITING SOMEONE AS A GUEST WITH CHOCOLATE, WINE OR FLOWERS USUALLY HAPPENS DURING WEEKENDS, ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY. THIS SATURDAY, MISSIS AND DANDY INVITED MINI LATICA TO BE THEIR GUEST.

MISSIS IS A BEAUTIFUL AND GROOMED LADY WHO EXPECTS TO BE PAMPERED ALL THE TIME. WHEN YOU MEET HER, NEVER FORGET TO KISS HER HANDS OR CARRY HER BAGS. SHE SOCIALIZES ONLY WITH DECENT AND FINE PEOPLE AND DOESN’T ALLOW OTHERS TO FUSS HER. DANDY IS MISSIS’S COURTIER. HE’S AN ADMIRER WHO TRIES WITH ALL HIS HEART TO FULFIL HER HIGH EXPECTATIONS BECAUSE HE IS HUGELY IN LOVE WITH HER. HE KEEPS HER AMUSED AND TRIES TO MAKE HER LAUGH, BUT MOST OF ALL; HE WANTS TO LEAVE A GOOD IMPRESSION.

TO PREPARE LUNCH, IT’S NECESSARY TO GET UP EARLY IN THE MORNING AND GO TO THE OPEN MARKET FOR GROCERIES. THE BIGGEST OPEN MARKET IN THE CITY OF ZAGREB IS CALLED DOLAC. DANDY AND MISSIS WENT THERE WALKING ALONG ILICA, THE LONGEST STREET IN ZAGREB. THEY CARRIED WITH THEM A WOVEN SHOPPING BAG OF STRAW WHICH WAS THE TRADITIONAL SHOPPING BAG IN THE REGION; THEY WILL USE IT TO CARRY EVERYTHING THEY BUY IN THE OPEN MARKET. WHILE THEY WERE WALKING, DANDY WANTED TO IMPRESS MISSIS WITH HIS KNOWLEDGE OF THE PAST.

 

THIS IS HOW ONCE UPON A TIME CITIZENS OF THE OLD TOWN, CALLED KAPTOL, AND HER SURROUNDING POPULATION USED TO GO TO THE OPEN MARKET. IN THE BEGINNING, THEY TRAVELLED WITH CARRIAGES, AND LATER THE TRAMS WERE INTRODUCED. IN THE OPEN MARKET, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES REAPPEAR EVERY MORNING HOPING THEY WILL FIND THEIR FAVOURITE RECIPE BY WHICH THEY WILL BE COOKED.

THEY PRESENTED THEMSELVES AND SCREAMED OUT LOUD: “ME! TAKE ME!” WHILE DILIGENT AND HARDWORKING MERCHANTS WATCHED OVER THEM. MARKET WOMEN TRAVEL TO ZAGREB EVERY MORNING CARRYING FRUITS AND VEGETABLES GROWN IN THEIR GARDEN ALONG WITH HOME-MADE CHEESE AND CREAM THEY PRODUCED. UPON ARRIVAL THEY SELL THEIR GROCERIES IN THE OPEN AIR MARKET.

 

EVERYONE LIVED HAPPILY AND CHEERFULLY UNTIL ONE DAY WHEN THE TATARS ARRIVED. THEY ATTACKED AND DESTROYED THE CITY, AND THE POPULATION HAD TO FLEE TO THE MOUNTAIN MEDVEDNICA. WORST OFF WERE THE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES THAT STAYED. IT WAS THROWN EVERYWHERE, IT WAS GIVEN AWAY FOR FREE, AND THEY WEREN’T GIVEN A CHANCE TO SELECT BY WHICH RECIPE THEY WOULD BE COOKED.

AFTER THE DEFEAT OF THE TATARS, CITIZENS OF KAPTOL RETURNED TO THEIR HOMES. THE SURROUNDING POPULATION FOUND THEIR HOME OPPOSITE KAPTOL AND THEY BECAME CITIZENS OF GRADEC. FOR ZAGREB’S CITIZENS WALLS WERE BUILT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE FREE CITY OF ZAGREB. FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND OTHER FRESH GOODS WERE GIVEN A SPECIAL PLACE WHERE ALL CITIZENS COULD MEET TO HAVE THEM. THIS PLACE IS DOLAC.

 

WALKING ALONG THE MAIN STREET ILICA DANDY AND MISSIS REACHED THE MAIN SQUARE. THEY TURNED LEFT INTO A SMALL STREET WHICH LEADS TO DOLAC. AFTER PASSING THE FLOWER BOUQUETS AND POSIES IN THE SMALL STREET THEY BEGAN TO CLIMB UP THE LONG STAIRS. “I MUST NOT FORGET TO BUY FLOWERS ON OUR WAY BACK.” – THOUGHT MISSIS AS SOON AS THEY PASSED BY THE MONUMENT OF THE MARKET WOMAN AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS.

“HERE WE ARE. “ – CONCLUDED DANDY. IN FRONT OF THEM LAID THE OPEN AIR MARKET, FULL OF WOODEN STALLS AND RED PARASOLS.  WHERE DO WE GO FIRST?  DANDY ASKED.

 “LET’S GO TO THE STALLS TO BUY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES FIRST,” MISSIS REPLIED WITH A SMILE.

 

AT THAT MOMENT THE OPEN MARKET WAS CHEERFUL. SINCE IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL AUTUMN DAY, FRUITS AND VEGETABLES SORTED THEMSELVES THROUGHOUT THE STANDS. THEY CURIOUSLY WATCHED THE PEOPLE GO BY; THEY COULD HARDLY WAIT FOR THE MARKET LADY TO GIVE THEM THE SIGN SO THEY COULD BE WEIGHED. EVERY PRODUCT WANTED TO BE THE ONE PEOPLE CHOSE TO TAKE HOME TODAY AS THEY WANTED TO BE PART OF A FINE RECIPE. THIS WILL HAPPEN ONLY IF THE MARKET WOMEN SELL THEM.

“SMILE, THEY’LL GO AWAY QUICKLY,” SAID THE GREEN MOM KALE FULL OF LEAVES TO HER CHILD THE BRUSSELS SPROUT. BESIDE THEM ON THE SAME STAND SETTLED A LARGE LEEK, AND SMALLER, BUT STRONGER IN TASTE, GREEN ONION. THEY LOOKED ALIKE. THEY’VE GOT A WHITE BOTTOM AND A GREEN TOP. THEY COME FROM THE SAME FAMILY, ALTHOUGH LEEK IS COOKED, AND GREEN ONION IS OFTEN EATEN RAW.

 

KALE, BRUSSELS SPROUT AND LEEK CHEERED UP A LOT WHEN THEY SAW MISSIS BECAUSE THEY KNEW THAT MANY OF THE MEALS EATEN WITH THE SPOON COULDN’T BE DONE WITHOUT THEM. THE ONLY QUESTION WAS WHAT MISSIS WOULD BUY. WHILE THEY WERE JUMPING AND SMILING, THE STONE LEEK LAUGHED AT THEM FROM THE SIDE:  

“JUST KEEP ON TRYING, IF THEY’RE GOING TO EAT MEAT, THEY’LL PICK ME FOR SURE, NOT YOU.”

NATURALLY, THE STONE LEEK WAS SHOWING OFF, BECAUSE BESIDE HIM WERE THREE CHICKS THAT COULD MAKE EVERY DISH BLUSH: IRON BEETROOT, RASPBERRY FULL OF HEARTS, AND THE STRAWBERRY WHO SEEKS ITS CREAM AND DREAMS OF GREAT LOVE. THEY KNOW THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL AND IRRESISTIBLE BECAUSE THEY ARE DELICIOUS AND THEY FORTIFY GOOD HEALTH. AS A MAIN COURSE, THE BEETROOT IS SWEET, BUT AS A SALAD IT BECOMES SOUR. THE RASPBERRY IS SOUR, EXCEPT WHEN IN CAKE MADE WITH CRUSTS OF SUGAR, WHILE THE STRAWBERRY WITH CREAM FINDS LOVE IN DESSERT.

 

ON THE NEXT STAND, BAD POTATO AND BROCCOLI WERE OFTEN NAUGHTY. THAT IS WHY MR. AND MS. GREEN BEANS MUST SCOLD THEM. LUCKILY, MS. SAUERKRAUT DEFENDED THEM EVERY TIME. SHE BABYSITS THEM AND THINKS THEY ARE THE BEST IN THE WORLD. MS. SAUERKRAUT HAS A BIG HEART THAT CAN FORGIVE EVERYTHING BECAUSE SHE KNOWS THAT THE INHABITANTS OF THE CITY LOVE HER VERY MUCH AND LOOK FOR HER ALWAYS. SHE ENJOYS A GREAT REPUTATION AND IS COOKED INTO SOME OF THE FINEST DISHES.

ALTHOUGH ALL OF THEM COULD BE EATEN AS A SALAD, SOMETIMES MR. AND MS. GREEN BEANS FORGAVE SOME POTATO AND INVITED THEM INTO A DISH EATEN WITH A SPOON. THEN POTATO ALWAYS FELT VERY TASTY AND FREQUENTLY DRANK ALL THE WATER FROM THE DISH. OH, THE HAPPINESS HE THEN FEELS! STILL, HE KNOWS THAT CHILDREN PREFER TO EAT HIM AS FRENCH FRIES OR CHIPS.

THEIR MARKET WOMAN WAS VERY PUZZLED TODAY, SO SHE PICKED THROUGH WEIGHTS AND WEIGHED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES WRONGLY FOR MISSIS.

 “YOU WON’T CHEAT ME”, PROTESTED MISSIS WHILE ONE MORE POTATO HAPPILY JUMPED ON THE SCALES SHOUTING: – WAIT FOR ME BOYS!

 

IN FOOD OR ON THE TABLE, QUEEN ONION IS ALWAYS THE MOST IMPORTANT. FOR HER, EVERYBODY CRIES.

SHE CALMLY WATCHED THE ENTIRE MISUNDERSTANDING FROM ABOVE, ON HER ELEVATED WOODEN BOX PLACED ON THE STAND. BROCCOLI ONCE TOLD POTATOS WHAT THEY HEARD FROM THE ELDERLY PASSING BY  – EVERYONE THINKS THAT SHE GIVES THE ORDER EVERY DAY AT NOON TO FIRE THE CANNON IN THE TOWER LOTRSCAK NEAR DOLAC. TO DEMONSTRATE TO ALL HER GREAT POWER, SHE ISSUES THE COMMAND WITHOUT A SINGLE WORD. NO ONE EVER DARED TO OPPOSE HER.  

 

ALSO HERE THERE’S FAMILY GRINCAJG: WHITE BROTHER PARSLEY, ORANGE SISTERS CARROTS, GREEN MOTHER KOHLRABI, AND WHITE FATHER CELERY WITH A GREEN HAIRDO. THEY ARE MOST PLEASED TO BE TOGETHER IN A SOUP THAT BECAUSE OF THEM WARMS EVERY BONE IN THE HUMAN BODY.

THE GOOD MARKET WOMAN BINDS THEM TOGETHER SO THEY WOULDN’T SPLIT UP. IN THIS WAY THEY HOLD EACH OTHER TIGHT AS LONG AS PEOPLE DIDN’T CLEAN THEM, CUT THEM AND COOK THEM. THEN THEY COULD FINALLY RELAX TOGETHER AND SOFTEN IN HOT WATER WHICH THEY FILLED WITH THE FINEST JUICES. JUST BECAUSE OF THEM EVERY SOUP REMINDS INHABITANTS OF THE CITY OF WARMTH AT HOME AND A CAREFREE ATMOSPHERE.

 

ON THE NEXT STAND MR. SALAD OFTEN INVITES TOMATO AND PEPPER TO BE HIS GUESTS. HE LIKES TO BE WITH THEM IN SALADS. EXCEPT FOR RAW IN SALAD, TOMATO AND PEPPER KNOW THEY ARE POPULAR WITH PEOPLE BECAUSE THEY CAN BE PREPARED IN 100 DIFFERENT WAYS.

EVERY DAY THEY ARE ALSO COOKED TOGETHER BECAUSE THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE WHO IS COOKING STUFFED PEPPERS. BEING CHEERFUL AND RELAXED THEY TEND TO ENTERTAIN OTHER GROCERIES IN THE OPEN MARKET.

 

HOWEVER, THE BEST PARTIES ARE ORGANIZED BY PROFESSIONALS IN ROUGH PEELS: ORANGE, YELLOW GRAPEFRUIT, YELLOW LEMON, AND GREEN LIME. “WE ARE CYPRUS FRUITS. HERE TO PLAY JUST FOR YOU” LIME EXCLAIMED. “CITRUS FRUITS, KID! WE’RE CITRUS FRUITS“, ORANGE WHISPERED TO HER. “OOPS, CITRUS FRUITS” LIME CORRECTED. “HA HA HA” – LEMON WAS LAUGHING HARD: “EXCUSE US, KID IS NEW TO THE BAND, BUT SHE PLAYS GREAT“.

EVERY DAY THEY PLAY SO HARD THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE BAND PEEL OFF TO SMOOTHEN THE SKIN. THEY ARE FULL OF LIFE AND VITAMINS, AND SO THEY CAN AWAKE ANY ORGANISM WITH THEIR SOUR TASTE. GRAPEFRUIT IS EVEN SOMEWHAT BITTER. SOUR RASPBERRY ENJOYS THEIR MUSIC THE MOST DAILY AND SHE LOOKS FORWARD TO THEIR EVERY SHOW.

AFTER THEY HAD FILLED THEIR BAG WITH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, DANDY PROPOSED: “LET’S GO TO THE COVERED MARKET TO BUY THE REST OF THE GROCERIES”, MISSIS AGREED.

 

AWAY FROM THE SUN, IN THE COVERED AREA OF THE MARKET, RIGHT NEXT TO THE OPEN AIR MARKET WERE THE FISHMONGERS.THERE, PATIENTLY WAITING FOR WERE FISH, SHELLFISH, CRABS, OCTOPUS AND SQUID, WHO HAVE LONG TRAVELLED TO THE CAPITAL. FOR THEM IT’S AN EXCITING TRIP BECAUSE EVERYTHING SMELLED DIFFERENTLY IN THE BIG CITY ON THE MAINLAND. HERE THEY COULD BRAG BECAUSE THEY WERE THE ONLY ONES THAT SOLD THE TASTE OF THE SEA.

 “IF YOU PICK US TODAY AS YOUR MEAL, YOU WILL BECOME SMARTER AND MORE RELAXED. YOU WILL HAVE HEALTHY EYES, BONES, JOINTS AND TEETH“ ADVERTISED THE BOILED FISH AND SHELLFISH PEARL, WHILE THE GRILLED SQUID NEXT TO THEM GOT CAUGHT UP IN FIAKA SO SHE HAD TO LIE DOWN AND REST FOR A LITTLE BIT.

EXCEPT FOR BRAINS, PEOPLE ALSO NEEDED STRENGTH, A HEALTHY HEART AND LUNGS, FOR WHICH THE BEST FOOD WAS MEAT. DANDY AND MISSIS THEREFORE WENT DOWNSTAIRS TO ANOTHER PART OF THE COVERED MARKET PLACE LOCATED RIGHT BELOW THE OPEN AIR MARKET.

 

THE MEAT STEAK WAS THE FIRST ONE TO SEE THEM. HE WOKE UP THE WHOLE TROOP WHICH FELL ASLEEP WATCHING PEOPLE BEHIND THE GLASS. PIECES OF MEAT CAME FROM VARIOUS PARTS OF ANIMALS. EXPOSED ON THE FRONT LINE WERE BEEF, VEAL, LAMB, PORK AND POULTRY LIKE DUCK, TURKEY, CHICKEN AND HEN, GEESE AND MANY OTHERS.

“YOU UPSTAIRS ALSO WAKE UP! DON’T JUST LOOK NICE.” – YELLED THE MEAT STEAK TO THE VARIETIES THAT WERE HANGING ABOVE THE GLASS FORMED IN A LINE. THESE WERE VARIOUS SAUSAGES, PIG HOCK, PATE, SALAMI, HAM, PORK CRISPS AND THE REST. IN THAT MOMENT DELICIOUS GENERAL KULEN AND GENERAL PROSCIUTTO GAVE THEIR COMMAND.

 “BE PREPARED TO RUN INTO THE SHOPPING BAG ON THE BUTCHERS SIGN“, ALL OF THEM GAVE OFF SCENTS AS HARD AS THEY COULD.

 

IN THE SIDE OF THE ROOM ON THE WAY TO THE EXIT, THERE WERE PRODUCTS THAT WERE COOLED DURING SUMMER AND WINTER. TWINS CHEESE AND SOUR CREAM WERE SO SIMILAR THAT THEY WERE OFTEN COMBINED, AND WERE THE BEST WHEN THEY WERE TOGETHER. MR. WHITE MUSHROOM LIKES TO HANG OUT WITH MRS. BOLETUS WHEN SHE ARRIVES FROM THE FOREST.

KINDERGARTEN GROUP OF 10 EGGS HOLD HANDS IN TWOS, JUST LIKE THE MARKET WOMAN SORTED THEM. THEY GO ALL TOGETHER ON THE ROAD WITH PEOPLE IN ORDER TO STRENGTHEN THEIR EYES, NAILS AND HAIR. WHILE THEY WAITED IMPATIENTLY, THE EGGS STARTED TALKING:

“WHEN WE ARRIVE, I WILL TAKE MY CLOTHES OFF AND JUMP INTO OIL.” “I WILL TAKE MY CLOTHES OF AND JUMP INTO BOILING WATER“

OTHERS TALKED ABOUT WHAT THEY WERE GOING TO BE WHEN THEY GREW UP:

“WHEN I GROW UP, I WILL BE SOME KIND OF A CAKE“, “WHEN I GROW UP, I WILL BE A FRENCH TOAST” “AND I WILL BE A WIZARD. I’LL TRANSFORM INTO YELLOW FOAM, HEAT UP AND HUG MRS. BOLETUS TIGHTLY“

 

ON THE WAY HOME THROUGH TOWN, FOODS IN THE SHOPPING BAG MET MRS. BOUQUET, MISSIS PICKED A BOUQUET OF YELLOW AND WHITE ROSES. IN AUTUMN THEY OFTEN MET ROASTED CHESTNUTS AND CORN THAT LIKE TO HEAT UP IN AN OPEN OVEN BY THE TRAM TRACKS AND SLOWLY CRACKLE UNTIL BAKED.

 

MISSIS BOUGHT ROASTED CHESTNUTS AND THREW THEIR BLACK JACKETS INTO A CONE OF GREASE PAPER THAT DANDY HELD FOR HER. ALONG WITH THE CONE DANDY AWKWARDLY CARRIED THE WEAVE BAG.

 

IN TOWN DANDY AND MISSIS NEVER MISSED SITTING IN A COFFEE SHOP IN THE BUZZING DOWNTOWN ZAGREB. THERE THE FOODS MET A COUPLE IN LOVE, COFFEE WITH MILK AND A GLASS OF WATER. TO THEM THEY BRAGGED ABOUT WHICH RECIPE THEY’RE GOING TO BE COOKED IN TODAY, AND THEY OFTEN REMAINED TO TALK. UPON ARRIVING HOME, DANDY CAREFULLY TOOK OUT ALL THE FOODS FROM THE SHOPPING BAG, AND MISSIS PUT THE FLOWERS IN A LARGE WHITE VASE.

 

A MAP OF DOLAC WITH MARKETPLACES

 

THE END

 

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