Finally found a cradle of slow living.. an island called Vis in Croatia. In the middle of the Adriatic sea, it feels as though frozen in time. Between the time that the ferry dropped us at its small port, to the time we walked to our lodgings through deserted-looking alleyways, I had already fallen in love. I felt I could spend a lifetime with it, without ever wanting to leave.
Of the mere 3500 inhabitants of this island (in off-season, which it luckily was), we met just one on our way to the lodging- a happy looking nun! This place is made up of the sea, and the church by the sea; the mostly empty roads (on which happy children will sometimes be seen running by) and some desolate looking corners; some fancy and some tavern-like restaurants serving fresh sea food, and lots of stone-houses. These houses belong to gregarious, and simple people, many of whom make a living renting them out to tourists. They receive their guests at the port, and welcome them by drinking their home-made wine with them.
This is the life I always wanted.. I am reminded of my childhood master-plan of owning a small bakery in Goa, marrying a fisherman, drinking Feni and dancing silly on the streets every evening. Come to think of it, Vis is much like the imaginary little town in Goa that features in the movie Finding Fanny. It sure has its share of out of date vehicles, and life revolving around the local church.
Some may say, it is just infatuation and you soon grow tired of it. Well, we stayed there for 5 days- just some stone houses and the sea. And when it was time to decide whether we leave in the morning or the evening of the final day, I was saying, “Oh, but we only just got here. Let’s stay till evening at least.”
One of my professors (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) had told me after a time-orientation exercise back in college, “Your sense of time is like the village folk. They notice the seasons change, not the hours go by. They can see the day through, just sitting and not counting the hours.”
In a place like this, that’s still certainly me. That’s probably the experience of timelessness. It’s the thing about this place- not ‘old’, but ‘timeless’…not too commercialized, yet self sufficient.. beautiful and orderly, yet in a natural sort of way. Even sounds like my kind of place!
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again about beauty- there’s the kind that leaves you in its awe, and there’s the kind that uplifts you to itself. My heart lies with the latter.