This is a short story about a person who left us in February 2018; a story of simplicity, a story of tradition, local community, happiness, drunkenness, sadness, friendship, story of 2 last local hangouts in the oldest part of Split, or just a story of the simple, difficult and in the same time beautiful period in Split which is disappearing slowly but steady.
This is a story about Žila.
This blog post might be slightly inappropriate for our non Croatian readers, but we want to leave our own little mark on the web, in the same time thank him for being who he was and wish him well in their future adventures, wherever they might be!
Joško Bačić Žila
In the past 30-40 years, whenever one would walk along the old town of Split, mostly in the area of Diocletian’s Palace (oldest part of Split), fish market, green market, during the evenings in local bars 3 Volta or Klub Zanatlija, or during celebrations, processions, and protest, on every political, extravagant or sports gathering you would see Žila. Many of us would just say hello (pomalo legendo) and move on. And he would do the same. Žila lived in the southern part of Diocletian’s Palace. He was one of the last local people who did not get into the madness of tourism, who did not sell or rent his home which was at the prime location. He always preferred to be outside, mingling with the other people who were there. He was part of the old town of Split, who knew everyone and everyone knew him. He was one of those local public figures with whom you did not even need to have a mere relationship to be able to know their private life because they were somehow public, common, ours.
Coming from the fisherman family, one of his occupations was fish cleaning on the fish market. And while he was cleaning fish for you, it was common to share few words with him. Imagine all the secrets he knew…. He knew where the best marenda (meal between breakfast and lunch) is, he knew who has fresh fish on the market, he knew where the best wine (and best priced) can be served, he knew your nephews, he knew all the old and new kids on the block.
Coming from the times which do not exist anymore; when carpenters, fisherman, barbers and other craftsmen lived their simple everyday life in the old town, which was not pleasant or easy, between the damp walls, the rotten wooden floors, and the staircases, Žila continued that lifestyle till his very end. He will be remembered as a true joker, bohemian, and sweetheart adored by everyone. And we thank him for that!
Adio Barba Žila! i #pomalo!