This is the blog for Matt Hollingsworth. I'm from Ojai, California. I've worked in comics for 22 years as a color artist.

This blog will largely be used to show my daily life as I live in Samobor, Croatia and as I travel around the region. Lots and lots of photos! Leave me a comment, will you?

All content on this blog is copyright 2013 Matthew Dale Hollingsworth and cannot be copied or used for any purpose without my consent.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oh man. What a rough 36 hours I've had.

So, Thursday night, I finished up work around 8:30PM or so, then Esad came over to check out my new internet TV thing. Here, they run something called "MaxTV" through your ADSL line rather than through cable. I finally got that after a 2 month wait. Seems they did not anticipate how popular it would be, so have been severely behind on getting installations done. Have not had much of a chance to check it out yet, but I now have an HBO, ESPN, CNN, BBC, BBC World, loads of Croatian channels and a bunch of Discovery channels. 60 channels, all told. Pretty nice. Esad is getting this service in his new apartment, which he should move into sometime in the spring, so was curious to check it out.

Afterwards, we went for a beer. During the beer, I started feeling really awful very suddenly. My stomach felt really bad, like maybe I'd eaten something bad. I couldn't think of anything except maybe some homemade cheese, so assumed maybe it was that. I left to go home and have some tea and relax in front of the TV.

When I got home, my girlfriend called and said she'd taken ill and asked how I was feeling. We talked and figured it must be a stomach flu. She'd heard one was going around. Oh great. She'd puked her lunch up and was generally not doing well. I was not feeling good, but was not that horrible. Not yet anyway.

One of the main lamenesses going on there, was that I knew that I had to get up around 7:15AM Friday, the next morning, and hop a train to the center to meet my lawyer at the visa office in the police station, to apply for my business visa. This could not be missed, could not be put off, could not be avoided. I figured I was doomed.

I drank some tea, watched TV and hit bed early hoping to maybe sweat it out and sleep it off. No such luck. Woke up around 1AM with the first set of the shits. I slept like crap and had to get up about once an hour, seemingly purging ALL fluids from my body through my ass. Around 4AM, the first puke arrived, with the accompanying cold sweats. Ah fuck. Felt like I was dying. You know how it is.

So, in the morning, I wake around 6:50 instead, puke, then shower for the train and visa stuff. I run into my friend Domagoj on the train and he tells me I look like I'm really hung over. I wish. I couldn't eat anything, could barely drink anything and was totally dehydrated. I arrive at the police station, and fall asleep on the bench inside. My lawyer shows up and tells me to wait there as she's doing stuff for me. So, I sit there on the bench for about 2 hours, sometimes sleeping, other times just trying not to puke or shit. And I know there's no bathroom for me there.

Finally, I am in with the visa woman again. We do our paperwork BS again. I ask her, "Last time, you said there was a chance that I wouldn't have to leave to go back to the States." She said that I don't have to go back to the States.

Woo hoo! I am still dubious until I have a visa in my hand, but she's the one who's in charge, so I have no REAL reason to doubt her.

So, I leave. My muscles are insanely weak. Walking is this huge effort. I am cold and sweating, but it's warm outside too, around 16 C, 60 F. I went to my girlfriends apartment and we spent the day together very sick. Sleeping, watching TV, trying to eat a banana or one piece of toast, drinking mint tea very slowly. It was one of those severely ill days that are no fun. Sometimes a flu is not so bad as it forces you to relax, but this was one of those awful ones where you're always in pain and feel like puking.

My theory is that my body is not used to the germs here yet, that I have not built up any defenses against local germs. I seem to get sick more often here. Don't know, but that's my working theory.

We both slept very well last night, though. And we slept for 10 hours. Woke up sore from bed. Had a banana and some toast, some tea, then caught the tram and bus home. And now I am here and have to get back to work today. I lost a day and a half of work. Lame!

But, I might not have to leave Croatia!


Bruce & Tula said...

Unreal! So sorry to hear about how difficult it's all been, but on the flip side, at least you got good news after all that effort. Heaven forbid you did all that only to get kicked in the teeth! I am glad it going well out there! Oh, and still enjoying your work. Meant to tell you ages ago that Daredevil just continually looks great. The cover in particular is perfect. Anyway, blah, blah, blah.

Oh, we all watched Lewis Black's, "Red, White & Screwed" - we all thought you would love it. We laughed out asses off.

Love from all of us, and hi to everyone!

Bruce, Tula, Steve & Luca

Jim Di Bartolo said...

Ah man! I haven't had a sh!##y day like that in a number of years BUT I remember it as though it were last week. Man I'm sorry to hear you got so sick and have been getting sick often over there, BUT (for your sake) I'm glad to hear you don't have to leave Croatia! You and your lady don't have to spend time apart & that's a GOOD thing (as well as the whole distraction and loss of work-time thing).

Glad you're doing well now man!

John J. Goddard said...

It's funny how no one at the desk for foreigner business speaks any language but Croatian, isn't it? The visa lady: 50's, a little heavy, blondish, chainsmoking in a back office?

I had her, if that's the one. After two weeks of running through hoops to get my residence permit from Zagreb, she's the one who told me I actually needed to register in Split, since that's where I'd be living and doing business.

Well, the usual incompetence and inability to finish things fucked the "business" dealings in Splitsko, so I'm back in the States for now. But I have my company formed in Zagreb, which is a big plus. I envy you for having stateside income though. If I could have gotten that going with some editors before I went, I'd still be there.

We'll should meet next time I'm in ZG. There are very few American expats in Croatia, you know, which can have a somewhat alienating effect sometimes.

Good blog, Matt. Look forward to having a beer and chowing on roštilj sometime in the future.

Matt Hollingsworth said...

Sorry to hear about the troubles. That could have been the same woman, but she didn't chain smoke when I was there and did a good job with me.

Yeah, send me an e-mail and we can grab a beer next time you're in Zagreb.