The question came up when we set out on this journey to meet my long-lost brother: "What if you don't like each other? For goodness sake, we didn't even know each other. This could be a complete waste of time."
It turns out that that wasn't a problem. We get along swimmingly; cracking dirty jokes, reminiscing about our father, sharing exotic foods... like carpaccio, an hors d'oeuvre (See frightening photos below.) of raw fish and cheese. The fish in mine was called "list" in Croatian, which I believe is sole. Mirko convinced me that I needed to eat this carpaccio when we went to a special seafood restaurant in Limski Kanal for lunch.
I was also introduced, by my brother Mirko, to the odd practice of putting salt and black pepper (and maybe olive oil) on a piece of bread before eating it. Even though it sounds odd, it actually tastes good. I used that same strategy on the raw fish carpaccio. It seemed that the more "stuff" I put on it, the easier it was to eat.
Before the appetizer, though, the waiter greeted us with a cart of fish on a platter and a smile on his face. It was a lot like a cat bringing a dead mouse to your feet. I'm not really sure what my reaction was at the time. I was too busy preparing to faint.
I suppose the whole thing only shows that I'm just an unsophisticated, cheeseburger-eating gormand from the United States of America. Or, it means that I'm a sensitive, thoughtful gentleman, shocked by such a display of predation. I mean, they don't normally show you the cow before they offer you a steak. And besides, these were not pretty fish. (middle picture below)
We survived the appetizer portion of the meal and ended up stuffing ourselves anyway with food and wine, and then kicking ourselves for stuffing ourselves because we knew fully well that Agneza, Mirko's wife, was going to cook sarma (stuffed cabbage) for dinner - one of the foods I was hoping I'd get to eat on this trip.
Fortunately, dinner was at 9:00 PM. Lunch was at 4:30. Yes, that's late for lunch in any hemisphere, but it was typical of our week of planning and scheduling, then failing to follow the schedule.