Some of my Croat friends will take exception with putting Croatia in the Balkans.  Driving to Zagreb from Slovakia I once said to a friend “It is good to be back in the Balkans.”  He scowled and said, Zagreb is not in the Balkans, the Balkans are south of the Sava.  He than thought a minute and said “So Zagreb’s airport is in the Balkans, but Zagreb isn’t.”   Metternich is supposed to have said: “The Balkans begin at the Rennweg.”  More commonly the Viennese aphorism is “The Balkans begin in the third district.”  I will take Metternich’s definition.

We have never lived in Croatia but have had a temporary posting in Zagreb in 1997 after being evacuated from Albania.  We consulted with radio stations all along the coast for both IREX and the Open Society Foundation (we seem to get really great assignments.)  We also worked with Radio 101 in Zagreb.  We had a short term assignment in Vukovar after it was returned to Croatian control in 1998.  Our job was to help Serbian radio stations apply for Croatian licenses.  When we lived in Montenegro the USAID office we reported to was in Dubrovnik so we “had” to go there for regular meetings.  We really do get lucky assignments. We have been in and out of Croatia for the past two decades.

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