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  • "Would you like to eat something?", he asks me.

    "Yes, yes I would.", I reply.

    He offers me a table inside, but I like the look of the ones outside -
    they lured me to this place - their colourful cushioned seats,
    compelling candlelight, the view this way and that.

    I don't get a chance to peruse the menu with any kind of leisure. He
    tells me they make their own pasta and, before I can blink, he's
    recommended me the tortellini with picante parmigiana and some fresh
    scampi, accompanied by a local red wine.

    I go with it, concluding that every other meal I've had in Split has
    been exquisite so this one is also a fairly safe bet.

    I wonder, for a moment, if I have enough money to pay for what I
    ordered (since I've not seen the price), then just relax... There's
    sure to be an ATM nearby.

    The wine is light and young - a flickering sweetness on my tongue. The
    pasta so delicious I mop up every last drop with slices of bread,
    leaving my plate so clean that you'd need a close look to notice its

    Had it not been for airline strikes and a flight cancellation I would
    never have had time to wander the previously unexplored tiny streets
    of Split, never met Nicholas the waiter and art critic from Slovenia
    who loves living in Croatia, I'd never have heard of chef Mario, never
    tried his delicious pasta, never known that the island of Brac not
    only makes amazing olive oil, but that their wine is pretty good too.

    And I'd never have had this story to tell.
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