Pleasant Surprises

Living here in Montenegro means your life is full of surprises. Some of them are pleasant, like when you discover the only cinema in the country is being renovated and, some of them less, like when the supermarket forgets to stock up on your cat’s favourite food.

Last evening was one of those pleasant ones.

It turns out we have a group of locals and expats who have set up a blues band which plays on the weekend in a small warehouse which by day is an olive oil mill, and by night on certain weekends turns into a jam session venue.

I had no idea what to expect, and I have to admit that I was a bit sceptical about driving up into the hills to this thing. It turned out to be very well organized. The entry fee is €20, which could be considered steep by local standards, but it includes beer and wine at the open bar. Rakia, the local equivalent of Grappa, is €1 a shot. Your drinks are served up by the owner’s son (I think), who would not be allowed anywhere near a drinking establishment back at home, but here, they are less hung up about that kind of thing.

Open Bar and Protected Ears
If you happen to have olive trees on your property here, you can bring them to Zoran, the owner of the mill, who (probably with the help of his son) will press your olives into oil for you. Kind of like those do-it-yourself breweries for wine and beer that you find back home. He is, I am told, very careful about not mixing up people’s batches, so you can be sure the olive oil for your salad or grilled fish is 100% yours.

Here’s to pleasant surprises.