There are many reasons to celebrate this week. After six years of effort, Croatia this week formally concluded the accession negotiations with the European Union paving the way for it to become the twenty-eighth member in July 2013, and the Dubrovnik Summer Festival kicked off. But most importantly, today is my birthday. As I get older, I wonder, how old do I have to be to become UNESCO world heritage listed?
I am spending my birthday with my travel companion, a British via Punjab telecom guru from Heathrow, like the airport. I have spent the past few days correcting her English and teaching her basic geography. She still cannot let go of the fact that the colonies were lost 235 years ago. Last night we happened upon a boat cruise in the evening that allowed us to view the fireworks associated with the opening of the summer festival.
Coincidentally Ms. Britain’s birthday is a day after mine. It turns out that that was not the last birthday coincidence. As we were on the water speaking to a couple from Dover, England, we heard someone singing happy birthday. It turns out that out of less than forty people on the boat, there was a July 10th, two July 11ths, a July 12, a July 13th and a July 16th birthday. So we all stood on the top deck together and screeched out a collective happy birthday, fueled by cheap local wine in plastic cups. The fireworks followed, and they were fantastic.
Dubrovnik, Croatia, is a beautiful city, and the old town is not to be missed. It reminded me of a combination of Venice [without the canals] and if they had taken Siena [sans the central Piazza del Campo] and put it on the water. The entire walled city is a UNESCO world heritage site, and there are many other such sites in Croatia [we are now checking into a hotel built within the walls of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, another UNESCO site. UNESCO, one of the many arms of the United Nations, designates sites of particular cultural and historical significance and lists them accordingly, protecting and preserving them for future generations.
Given that I have come of age in Dubrovnik, I wonder, how old do I have to be to become UNESCO world heritage listed? If that happened, would people visit me? Would I receive preservation [i.e. nip/tuck/botox] funds? Could I print postcards of myself to sell to Japanese tourists? Could I offer my likeness on a kitchen apron?
When I return to North America, I will contact the UN to inquire. 🙂