I have to admit that I am in a dilemma. I really don’t know which way to turn, both sides have their arguments. On the one hand it seems like an invasion of civil rights and on the other respecting the culture of the city. What am I talking about, the decision of the city to punish people for dressing inappropriately on the Stradun. Well, presumably not just on the Stradun but on all the hollowed stone streets of the Old City.
No, I am still not decided. Walk through the gates of the city and face a fine of 1,000 Kuna if you are dressed in a bikini, bare-chested or completely naked. Of course, if you are completely naked then you deserve everything you get, remember those crazy German guys who wandered around in the “birthday suits.” Apparently signs are going to be placed on the three main entrances into the Old City with signs explaining what not to wear. I guess a “no bikini” sign. What happens if the offender gets stopped on the gate, then fined, but doesn’t have any clothes to cover up. Are they then going to be banned from entering the city?
Enforcing this law is the first problem I foresee. Making law is child’s play, enforcing them is a different story. Will there be security guards on the gates scanning people for the hint of bare skin? Even better, will there be security guards scouring the streets looking for offenders.
I would like to publically put myself forward for that job! I will need a few pieces of equipment of course. Firstly some super strong binoculars so I can spot the thong bikinis from a distance. Secondly a camera so that I can photo the sexy offenders, just for the purposes of evidence you understand. Then I am going to need some kind of uniform, I don’t want to get confused with a pervert or a stalker. I know just the uniform, I bought one when I went to Tenerife in my youth, if I remember correctly it said “Licensed Bikini Inspector” I am sure that you can still buy them online. Or maybe F.B.I - “Female Body Inspector.” Of course the flipside, or the downside, of being a Dubrovnik FBI is that I would also have to search for male offenders. OK, note to self. When applying for the position of security guard I need to emphasise that I will only be arresting female lawbreakers. I wonder who will set out the standards; I mean what is conservative for one might be slutty for the next.
Will the bikini brigade get special training? Imagine that – “OK now look at this photo, is this distasteful or not.” I guess that rules out filming an episode of Baywatch in Dubrovnik? Poor Pamela would break so many laws she would have to divorce again just to pay the bills. That’s a point; the fine is 1,000 Kuna or 500 Kuna if you pay on the spot. If someone is wearing a micro bikini where would they be keeping 500 Kunas to pay on the spot? Like I said I am in a dilemma. Telling people what they can and can’t wear goes totally against my liberal beliefs. It is a short jump to telling people that they can’t do many other things. It’s the Erdogan form of politics, my way or the highway. But then again there is a part of me that wants people, visitors, to respect the pearl of the Adriatic.
Of course I would never dream of walking along the Stradun dressed like Borat. It just seems a little bit bad taste, but should it be illegal...well probably not. If you want to enter a museum, church, restaurant, etc then yes you need a little dress sense, well more common sense really. But fining someone for walking down a public street because they are showing too much skin, well that is a little harsh. I am guessing that it will be a storm in a teacup, just another one of those laws that will be forgotten in time.
We have had so many new regulations that were introduced with a bang, like a firework, and then were swept under the carpet. The fun thing will be watching how it is enforced. The Stradun is almost bulging with potential 1,000 Kuna fine payers. I can’t wait to see the “bikini brigade” stop a group of drunk Australians stripped down to their waists at 3 o’clock in the morning and tell them that they are violating the dress code. They are probably violating many things; good taste will probably be their biggest violation.