When there are few houses next to each other; a main square with a school, a church and a mini market where you can not get in with 5 people; it is what we call a village.
Also, when you don’t understand anything that is going on next to you, you probably are in a village in a country that doesn’t speak English, and mostly is scared of the American invasions, so they would not even try once to answer to you in that language.
You most probably are in a village surrounded by mountains and trees, in the Balkans. Let’s talk about a Croatian village here. There, sometimes, when people speak a second language it is German. To know this language can help a lot in this area to speak to people and make yourself under able. You can always try to speak their languages, villagers would appreciate that and they would even sympathise with you.
So here are few sentences you should know in Croatian.
How are you? Kako ste?
Good and you? Dobro sam, a vi?
Where are you from? Odakle ste?
Do you speak English? Govorite li engleski?
I need eggs Trebam jaja
Thank you Hvala
Goodnight Laku noć
Good, you started to communicate. Keep learning to understand answers as well.
The first town is 15 km away, and of course, you are by foot. It means, the only market you can go is the mini market downtown. Don’t worry, the village have everything you need.
Because when you need a basic food you have to go far, villagers make some by themselves and sell it to each other. Some house would sell milk from their cows, another one eggs from their chicks, and another one rakja (local alcohol) from their plum trees.
Don’t be surprised if one you found the right house, the owners offer you a shot or two of rakja, at anytime of the day.
Only with 522 of population, one elementary school and one high school at the first town only; people learnt solidarity. So, if you need something you have to find the right house by asking around, and to start the conversation in Croatian.
Until learning enough vocabulary, you can still make your own cheese, yoghurt and bread. It is really easy.
Let’s start with the cheese. You need fresh farm milk. Warm it and remove it from the fire right before boiling. Mix the milk with a shot of vinegar and add the spices you like. Let it rest for hours. Poor it through a towel. You can throw away the liquid milk. What is left in the towel is going to be the final cheese. Poor it on a plate and cold it. Done!
The bread is as easy. Mix 1 kg of a king of flour, another 1kg of another kind, take some salt and yeast. Pay attention that these last two can not touch each other yet or the yeast would be useless. Mix it all while poring a bit of warm water at a time, mix it well until you can make a bowl that won’t stick so much to yours fingers anymore. Let the dough rest an hour and bake it,p. It is ready when it sounds hollow. Don’t pay so much attention to the color, it can be white, soft and ready.
The yogurt is as easy as these two.
These recipes can also help you to socialise with the rest of the village. Go doors to door to share what you just made. They would appreciate it.
What else do you need to survive? WIFI maybe? Well, if you are lucky you might be the only one with Internet connection, but even if you do have it, you get quickly weary.
Outside, you can find some recuperation stuffs to make new board games, and to create a new one, or also to extent to first one. This way, you share cozy moments with the people you are with.
Finally, it is always useful to have a dictionary of the language you have to use to communicate with locals, a book to keep yourself entertained. There is no street lights and thunderstorm blacks out the electricity frequently, so bring also a flashlight for those dark nights when you just decided to go out for a beer at the only bar in the village.