It will surprise no one when I say that I don’t like kids. Really, I don’t. Oh I know, kids are blah blah blah blah. NO. So it may surprise many people to discover that our favourite bar here in Zagreb is in a kids playground.
Let’s parse that sentence. Here, in Zagreb, there’s a bar in a playground. The Croats just do some things right.
So what happens is, parents from the apartments in neighbouring blocks bring their kids here, dump them in the playground and then duck into the bar for a drink and a cigarette. It’s genius. They can see their kids and still get the opportunity to behave like normal adults. The kids, meanwhile, seem unphased by the presence of either their parents or the bar. They push each other around, fall over, eat sand, run down the slide, climb over the baby equipment, twist the swings and generally just have a great old time. They more or less ignore the adults and the adults, more or less, ignore them.
Can you imagine this happening in Australia? It would cause an outrage. Even if it were approved, drinks would have to be served in plastic cups to avoid the remotest possibility of injury by glass. And smoking, of course, would be forbidden.
And it turns out that children devoid of parents really aren’t that bad. It’s like the annoying part of them goes away in the absence of grown-ups. In fact, they’re hilarious to watch. C is also unfond of children and yet she and I can be entertained in that bar for hours. We once watched a small girl child eat sand for 20 minutes. Fascinating! Better than goldfish!
Sometimes, when we’re on beer number 4, we start to wonder if we look weird, turning up at this bar when we clearly don’t have kids. But it’s a really nice bar, and in these last few gorgeous days of Autumn it’s a pleasure to sit outside, guzzling hladno pivo (cold beer) u dvoristu (in the courtyard) and pretending to do our homework.
Like many of Zagreb’s best bars, this one is hidden in a courtyard and a little hard to find. It’s between Ilica and Dalmatinska and you can get to it via either street.
It’s the perfect place for an afternoon beer while you giggle at the antics of small people. Maybe kids have a use after all.
What about you? Got any favourite courtyard bars, in Zagreb or other places?