Friday 1 November 2013

Where the streets have no name

The streets in Gračišće have no name. Yes, the village is that small. So how do addresses work, you ask? Well, each house has a number. The village priest’s house is number 1. Numbers then move consecutively clockwise. More or less consecutively, not always logically. Some houses have a small number plate on their facades, many don’t.

And how do people find an address in the village if there are no street names and most houses don't display a number? It’s a bit like in India - people use landmarks and visual clues. They’ll say: “It’s that green house next to the big church.” Or “It’s that place next to Pino’s old house.” Or “It’s at the end of the road that leads to St. Euphemia Church.”  

There’s one street in the village which has an unofficial name, called ‘Putok’ which means ‘small stream’. I asked why it’s called ‘small stream’ and was told because when it rains the road becomes a small stream. Which reminded me of monsoon time in India.

Letters are addressed to Gračišće followed by the house number, then the village postal code and the name of the village again. In a village where the streets have no name, it’s as simple or potentially confusing as that.

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