Monday, March 16, 2009
Hansel and Gretel and Magma
Last night, after napping, a large part of our group went out for dinner together. We chose a restaurant the tour guide had recommended, called Hansel and Gretel (although I don't know the Croatian name). Everything is cooked fresh and homemade. Their ingredients are ogrganic and mostly hormone/chemical-free. The restaurant looked like an old farmhouse, with heavy wooden chairs and decorated with farm implements from the past. The food was great! Most people chose ravioli of some sort, a few of us had pork kabobs with potatoes, and one daring soul tried wild boar. He found it tasty!
This morning we rose early and were escorted to the Zagreb Chamber of Economy. There we listened to a presentation about Croatia and their economy. The students asked good quesions.
Afterwards, we took a bus ride outside of Zagreb to a company called Magma. Magma is a retailer specializing in clothing, sporting goods, home goods, and toys. They have four store divisions. It was interesting because we've seen three of the stores arond Zagreb (the clothing, sport, and toy stores). We learned about Magma's history and then ate some messy pastries and drank funky fruit juice. Then they took us on a tour of their large warehouse and talked about logistics. After that, we visited their clothing design department and talked about fashion trends. Magma is proud because they designed the outfits for Croatia's olympians in Beijing and won an award for their creativity. When we were finished at the headquarters, we boarded the bus and they took us to a large retail outlet that sold just about everything they make. I think they hoped we would spend some money there, but no one bought anything.
Many group members had lunch at a nearby McDonald's. I had a quarter pounder with cheese and fries and it tasted pretty much the same as in the states. The main difference we noted was that they didn't carry mustard and they charged for any extra ketchup.
Tonight our group had dinner at a fancy club, Klub Knjizevnika, in downtown Zagreb. It was hosted by the International Graduate Business School and our students got to dine with MBA students from IGBS. They all got along really well and it was fun to hear about life as an MBA student in Croatia. We had the best brownies for dessert and tried some rakija brandy, too!
By the way, one of the students is also keeping a blog at http://ksb-eecroatia2009.blogspot.com/ . Be sure to check it out!