A Guide to Mastering Dalmatian Fjaka

How to Define “fjaka”
Naturally, the fjaka is one of the most typical characteristics of the Mediterranean, which is thought to have also invented all the good and bad sides of our real lives. Since the fjaka is a kind of blissful state which is beyond control, and thus defies set definitions and names, it cannot be categorized either as a layabout idleness or as relaxed respite from everyday life, or as a phlegmatic state, or as leisure time, chronic listlessness, or the mere slowing down of life functions. Actually, it is, and at the same time, it is not, a mixture of all of the above.
Although it has a self-doping effect, little can be done to govern it – it is like a faint unconsciousness, a state beyond the self or – if you will – deeply inside the self, a special kind of general immobility, drowsiness and numbness, a weariness and indifference towards all important and ancillary needs, a lethargic stupor and general passivity on the journey to overall nothingness. The sense of time becomes lost, and its very inertness and languor give the impression of a lightweight instant. More precisely: it’s half somewhere and half nowhere, always somehow in between.
This is probably why the fjaka does not have firm reasons or boundaries, because it’s not always caused either by meteorology or a desire to rest. Fjakuni are like eccentrics, you justify their seemingly useless withdrawal from the real world, perhaps even forgive it. They are in their own way likable, cocooned in their slumber, in a daytime doze as the great Marul would say (in the vivid translation by Nikola Šop), who obviously sometimes himself succumbed to the fijaka bug. You can’t treat them, the fjakuni, in any other way but as – a curiosity of humankind.