Mr White and Mr Ruck meet at Dubrovnik airport. After three long hours with no signal, Mr White is on the phone, but breaks off to extend a paw. The tousled leonine head cracks a wide smile. On the box it may look quite menacing, with a hint of Jack Nicholson as the Joker. In the presence, however, the effect is disarming. Charisma crackles like hot fat on the hob. “Hello, Mr Ruck.”
This is not going to work. “Mr White” belongs in a Tarantino film with a gory middle and an even nastier ending. I am worried enough as it is at the prospect of being stuck on a cruise ship with a famously fiery chef and his sharp knife. Expulsion from a restaurant for adding salt to the soup is one thing; upsetting Mr White mid-Adriatic is another.
We move on to “Marco” and “Adam” terms, and I soon find myself volunteering to find a restaurant. This is madness, but I alone among our small group of new arrivals have been to Dubrovnik before. “You will go to Dubravka,” says a local friend. “Very close to hotel.”