Thursday, July 28, 2016

Country #102: Croatia, the search for Khal Drogo

One would think that the "sport" of counting countries would be relatively free of controversy. There are no banned enhancement-performing drugs, no need for instant replays and the balls are very rarely deflated. But this was one trip that lead to a bit of soul searching for me.

Back in 1988, I did a summer study abroad program in what was then Yugoslavia. We spend two weeks in Dubrovnik, one in Belgrade and one in Zagreb. In a probably unrelated move, not too long thereafter, the country came out from behind the iron curtain and eventually split up into seven independent countries. Although I had been in what would become Croatia and Serbia, I have always counted this as one country, placing an asterisk next to my listing of Yugoslavia.

And then Game of Thrones happened. Like everyone else who chooses to live among humankind, I'd heard about the show but it wasn't until this spring that I decided to watch the first episode.  That one episode led to another and soon I was staying up all night binge watching the series.  While in the midst of a battle with the condo association manager, I found myself asking "What would Cersei do?" and wondering if the local shelters had any pet dragons up for adoption.