not more fountains

 In 2018, Ispod Fontana, Zagreb

We sit in the garden, the girls smoke a lot. We drink great Turkish coffee and talk about Zagreb. They’re frustrated with how the Mayor focuses the city’s funds and action on the centre. At how he works to keep it clean and smart for tourists. At how fights and drug related attacks in their hoods are pretty much ignored whereas any violation in the centre receives full press. At how many hungry and homeless people there are yet few shelters or support. At the numbers of hotels and new bars and fountains… “ not more fountains ” they gasp. It’s been a city wide issue.

I play them recordings of different Zagreb spaces. The markets at Trešjnevka and the Dolac with its other inside area downstairs. They’re surprised at how different they sound, at the soft and relaxed acoustic of the Dolac square and the comparative noise at Trešj even though the Dolac was much busier that day. We agree we don’t like the sound of the underground market. (ceramic tiles, refridgerator hums).  There’s also something in the recordings that screams out to me which no-one notices until I point it out. The rustle of plastic bags. Every seller whips your veg into one without hesitation. Oh yes… yes the plastic bags – hadn’t noticed those they say.

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