One of the peculiar things about Slovenes (apart from wearing copate) is the urge to have their own speck of land. Most of us would like to have a speck of land somewhere in Croatia, prefferably close to sea, but during the off-season Slovenes (and Ljubljanchans are no exception) tend to have their own garden – prefferably in the middle of an urban area.
Be it just a reflex (the fact is that most Ljubljanchans have peasant/farmer ancestry), a need to be somewhat self-sufficient, or just trying to make ends meet… the habit has grown waaaay out of proportion in the last decade or so. Those, who will join me for the hike around Ljubljana on Liberation day, will have the unique opportunity to see just how many of these small gardens (vrtiÄki) are there around Ljubljana. In fact there are so many, that people who own them, are commonly called vrtiÄkarji, or The Gardeners… (Sounds like The Klingons 😀 )
The Mayor has recently decided to put a stop to it (for which I applaud him loudly). Being as gentle as a T-34 tank on a bad day, he issued “a request” that The Gardeners tear down all the shacks they illegally errected during the years. Now these shacks are a curious thing… They usually start as nothing more than a storage facility for tools and some fertilizer, but pretty soon – seemingly out of nowhere – they start sporting electricity, tap water, an occasional refridgerator, a porch and a grill. They become a home away from home… And as a rule they look ugly… Really ugly.
Thus Zoki “requested” (meaning: ordered) that owners tear them down – otherwise he’ll do it for them and send them the bill. Some have heeded his calls without further a-do, others have done so reluctantly, whereas still others flipped him the bird.
And when I say “tore down”, I don’t mean “disassemble and take the material to the junk yard”… No, sir. For this is Slovenia! Nay, this is Ljubljana! Who the fuck is this mayor character to tell us what to do?!? OK, we’ll do it, but we’ll send a message! Like Vinetou we’ll send smoke signals to Zoki saying that he can go stick his head in the lavatory for this….
We send message to big white warrior: you burn our huts, we burn your hut
Those of you who are somewhat familiar with medevial Slovene history know of peasant rebellions… And of course you know of last week’s City Hall Brawl… The problem is that the last time around the protesters were armed with walking canes, whereas The Gardeners, when they stage a protest, will be armed with stick and shovels.