In Zagreb, we live for today, for tomorrow the cannonball may strike us!

Lotrščak Tower, from whence the cannonball sails

Long ago, the mayor of Zagreb was beside himself because the church bells that signaled noon and dinner rang at wildly different times.

So, he installed a cannon high in a tower that overlooks the Old Town. Twice a day it would be fired and then the churches were to all ring their bells at once.

As Iva, our friend and guide told us this as we stood beneath the tower, a young person standing nearby assumed an expression of utter disbelief and alarm and asked, “But where does the cannonball land?!”

I told her people in Zagreb are on edge twice each day, wondering if this will be the day the cannonball finds them. That is why they are so carefree at night.

(Of course, the cannon makes a big noise and ejects a small cardboard cartridge which falls harmlessly to the ground.)

The next night over dinner, Iva, her boyfriend Ivan, Charlie and I toasted to living in the moment because after all tomorrow the cannonball might strike us down.

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