How to Survive on the Balkan Hobo Diet

"Keep in mind that there is enough grease inside to cook just about anything" 
Zagreb, Croatia
Medika Squat House Community Center

Story & Media: Ben Rubin

The Balkan Hobo Diet is a popular new way to sustain yourself on a few Kuna a day.  Since it's possible you don't know exactly where you're sleeping tonight, you'll want to stick to ingredients that can easily move with you and your hobo caravan, and can be found in just about any Balkan corner store.  Even if you've got the funds for a fancy meal at a restaurant with 'tables' and 'chairs', don't be fooled.  Even though most things are fairly cheap in the Balkans, you should be saving every kuna you can for pivo and coffee.  Unlike other places in the world, these essentials need to be consumed almost constantly throughout the day if you're going to fit in with the locals.

  1. To get started, find the closest corner store and pick up a can of 'Meat Breakfast'.  Don't bother reading the ingredients - you really don't want to know anyways - but keep in mind that there is enough grease inside to cook just about anything.  Plus, you can feel assured by the smiling woman on the front that everything is going to be ok; you're in good hands, albeit greasy ones

  2. If you want to pretend to be healthy, which I recommend, buy a jar of pickled vegetables for the mix.  There has to be some vitamins in there somewhere, right?  And for an added bonus you can sip the pickle juice at the end for a classy after-dinner drink.

  3. Next, pick up a bag of potatoes from the French graffiti writers that shared your room in the squat house last night.  As everyone knows, the true staple of the Balkan Hobo diet is potatoes - they're cost close to nothing, don't go bad easily, travel well, and are more filling than a bucket of dirt.  If generous French graffiti writers are not available, you can buy them too I guess.

  4. As a optional ingredient, feel free to pick up the spiciest hot sauce you can find.  This will help mask the mystery meat flavors and keep things interesting.  Hot sauce is good on everything in my book.

  5. If you have access to a squat house with 5-star amenities, you can make this meal on a stove like a upright citizen.  If not, burning some garbage in an alley can work in a pinch, although you'll need to pick up some tin foil to wrap everything in.  Either way, dump everything together and cook the hell out of it.  Trust me, It's better burnt.

  6. Now is the moment you've been waiting for...stuff your face like this is your last meal.  Continue shoveling in food until you're incapacitated, and the only thing you can possibly do is sit back at a cafe somewhere drinking beer and coffee for the rest of the afternoon.