Thursday, October 20, 2005

What does it mean to be famous in Split


I have never been so famous as I am in Split now. :)

AIESEC in Split is organizng EuroCo - big conference with the delegates from all around Europe (
http://www.efst.hr/aiesec/euroco2005/). They are stressing on the promotion of AIESEC through this conference. There was traditional Global Village this Monday, where all delegates were representing their countries - food, drinks, booklets etc. The event was happening outside in the very centre of Split on the main square near the sea and it was open to all intreseted people. We had big stage, music and many people participating there.

I had luck to be host of this event - it was interesting experience to be on the stage in front of hundreds of people outside and speak to them.

Besides that fact EuroCo and AIESEC found great promotion in media thanks to good external relations job. And local AIESEC was presenting me as their "foreign specialist from Estonia". I gave interviews to the local radio station, television and newspaper. I pretty much enjoyed to be interviewed, especially after I showed my "amazing" capabilities to speak Croatian (I am learning Croatian now and was trying to speak at elast partly Croatian during the interviews). Hope, I impressed them :)

Nevertheless I must admit that no-one has asked for my signature in the town or wanted to take a picture with me yet :(

This conference is taking palce in small town outside Split (around 60 km from Split) and I have been travelling to the parties of it each evening there and morning back since Monday. Meanwhile I have been working in AIESEC office during the days in Split. Now, while writing this post, I feel quite exhausted after 3-nights long marathon of sleeping 2-3 hours during the night and partying with the foreign delegates. We decided to take a break and not to go there today. But me and my colleagues from AIESEC Split will definetely be kings of the dance floor on Friday and Saturday nights ;)

But as like as parties and fun is just certain part of AIESEC, so is my life here. I have quite big responsibility in my work here - I became main responsible for the recruitment of new members and it means that I have to manage my own team (6 people). It is quite tough sometimes, as I don´t know many simple and banal things - where can I print out something, how can I agree to have room for the meeting, who should be contact person for what etc. But challenges just make you more enthusiastic about what you are doing. Besides it is great to feel that people take you seriously and believe that you can bring real value to them. It is different from when you are going for internship to some company, where you are just a young guy who does not know anything yet.

Are there many possibilities when a 23-years old person comes to the foreign country and is being given big responsibility and his own team? Thanks to AIESEC I have this possibility.

Members of LC Split take me as one among themselves already. Interesting that I deserved love and appreciation of locals thanks to the fact that I have been drinking a lot on the party two weeks ago. One gets nickname "The King" in Split after one gets drunk here. :)

It was pleasant to see again Viljo, Herdis and Liisa who came to this conference as well, to be host for them and show them Split around. And we were swimming in the sea last Sunday (16th of October)!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Some facts and observations about Croatia / M6ned faktid ja tahelepanekud Horvaatia kohta



Autumn is slowly taking its place in Split. This means that it is raining time-to-time and one should wear sometimes shirts with long sleeves. Still, I was swimming on 2nd of October.

Croatia was invited for negotiations with EU some few days ago. It has been discussed about it a lot here. Croats got independence in 1991 and they are very proud of it - patriotic feelings are here very strong. Interesting that one can see Croatian national coat of arms on the walls in almost every pub or cafe. Croatian national flags are to be seen quite often in the town picture as well.

Croatia went through the civil war in 1991-1995 and the economics of the country is still recovering. Average level of living is quite high in comparison to other post-Communist countries, but still much behind Western countries.

The civil war in 1990s was especially bad for one of the main income sources of Croatia - tourism. Now the world is re-discovering Croatian beauties. There were 20% more visitors in the country this season than last one. Lonely Planet, the world famous publisher of tourist guides, has declared Croatia to be the world's most popular destination in 2005 (www.croatia.hr/misc/LonelyPlanet.aspx).

If to say few words about local people, then young people do not differ very much from youth in Estonia or Germany. The main difference is that Catholic traditions are to be felt (Catholic church plays an important role in the country like in Poland). For example the family plays generally important role in the lives of young people (it makes task of AIESEC more difficult - students often have to ask the permission to go abroad from their parents).

Young people look just like in Estonia or Germany. Split is known as the city with the most trendy and fashionable people. One can see clothes-shops with mainly Italian brands at every step in the city. There is no other city than Split, where so many beauties have come from who won the title Miss Croatia. Indeed, one can see quite many good-looking women in the streets.

Croats are generally temperament nation in the context of Europe, but not as much as Italians or Bulgarians for example. Music plays very important role in the live of local people. For instance, young people sing at almost every party here.

Now there are new pictures of mine to be seen: the last weeks in Berlin, trip to Slovenia and first week in Croatia. Enjoy!
www.flickr.com/photos/deniss
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[EST] Spliti on j6udnud sygis. Mis tahendab, et aeg-ajalt sajab vihma ja vahel tuleb pikkade varukatega sarke v6i kampsuneid selga panna. Aga 2. oktoobril sain veel meres ujuda.

Horvaatia sai paar paeva tagasi ametliku kutse labiraakimistele EL-iga. Ehk siin toimub see, mida Eesti elas yle 7-8 aastat tagasi. Ja selles suhtes on palju sarnasusi.

Nagu Eestigi, oli Horvaatia suure kommunistliku yhenduse osa, kus esimese viiuli roll oli kellelgi teisel (N6ukogude liidus venelased, Jugoslaavias serblased). Nagu Eestigi NSVLis, oli Horvaatia Jugoslaavias koos Sloveeniaga yks k6ige edumeelsemiad osariike. Yhed olulisemad probleemid teel EL-isse olid seotud Horvaatias vahemuste 6igustega, mida EL on riigile ette heitnud (kohalike serblaste situatsioon). Sama on toimunud ka Eestis, kellele Euroopa Liit on kohalike venelaste olukorda ette heitnud (kyll mitte nii j6uliselt nagu Horvaatiale).

Horvaadid said iseseisvuse 1991. aastal ja on selle yle vaga uhked. Patriotism on siin vaga tugev. Huvitav, et peaaegu igas baaris v6i kohvikus v6ib seina peal naha riigivappi. Ka riigilippu v6ib kohata yldiselt sagedamini kui Eestis.

Majanduslik olukord Horvaatias on sarnane Eestiga v6i pisut parem. Inimesed teenivad suhteliselt hasti ja majandus areneb. Siinkohal tuleb arvesse v6tta, et 1991.-1995. aastatel elas Horvaatia yle kodus6ja ja see andis tundliku hoobi kohalikule rahalehmale - turismile.

Nyyd areneb turismiala Horvaatias hoogsalt. Sel hooajal kylastas seda riiki 20% rohkem turiste kui eelmisel perioodil. Lonely Planet nimetas Horvaatiat maailma k6ige populaarsemaks sihtkohaks 2005. aastal (www.croatia.hr/misc/LonelyPlanet.aspx).

Hinnad on riigis yldiselt natuke k6rgemad kui Eestis (samas olin ma Eestis viimati juunis, nii et ei oska oelda, mis seal preagu valitseb) :) Transport ja sook on tunduvalt kallimad. Ehk tuleneb see ka sellest, et elan Splitis, mis on eriti suvel turismimagnet.

Kui oelda paar s6na kohalike inimesete kohta, siis noored ei erine suures osas Eesti omavanustest. P6hiline erinevus on see, et katoliiklik taust annab tunda (Horvaatias mangib katoliiklik kirik olulist rolli nagu naiteks Poolas). Naiteks perekond mangib yldiselt suuremat rolli noorte elus (see teeb AIESECi ylesannet vahel raskemaks, sest yli6pialsed peavad sageli vanematelt loa kysima, kui valismaale minna tahavad).

Noored inimesed naevad valja samamoodi nagu Eestis v6i Saksamaal. Split on tuntud kui linn, kus elavad Horvaatia k6ige trendikamad inimesed. Peamiselt Itaalia paritoluga riietepoode naeb igal sammul. Mitte yhestki teisest linnast ei ole olnud nii palju kaunitare, kes said Miss Horvaatia tiitli, nagu Splitist. Ja t6epoolest naeb linnapildis ysna palju kenasid naisi.

Horvaadid on yldiselt Euroopa kontekstis temperamentne rahvus, kuigi mitte nii vaga nagu itaallased v6i bulgaarlased. Muusika mangib siinsete inimeste elus vaga suurt rolli. Pidudel naiteks lauldakse peaaegu alati.

Nyyd saab naha mu uusi pilte - viimased nadalad Berliinis, pildid Sloveeniast ja esimene nadal Horvaatias. Aadress on endine:
www.flickr.com/photos/deniss
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