Wednesday Conversation -- Marko Jaric

Trudell: Hello Marko, thanks for being with us today for our Wednesday conversation. You're from Belgrade in Serbia, which used to be a part of the former Yugoslavia. Let me first ask you what about America stands out to you?

Marko Jaric: Things that I like sometimes frustrate me, because in America, some things work better than in every other country. It's just amazing to me that in my country, we had three nationalities there, and there was a war in Yugoslavia between us. So many innocent people died, and I just wonder how dumb we could be to let that happen.

I lived in L.A. for four years, and basically every corner you go to, or in a restaurant, you can't even find people from the same background. Everything (seems to) work perfectly. So I'm wondering, how the (heck) did we get into a war where we are all killing each other? That's what's amazing to me about this system in the United States.

MT: That's a very interesting and important topic Marko, and we'll make sure to revisit it in a more lengthy discussion. For now, let's change tacks and talk about movies.
Jaric: Recently, I really enjoyed the movie "The Departed." It's the first good mafia movie that I've seen in the last five or ten years. An older movie that I like a lot is "The Patriot." That's a good one.

MT: Right, but have you heard Mel Gibson talk lately? Moving on, what is a type of food that you eat a lot over here that wasn't too common in Europe?
Jaric: You know what, there is something that has become part of my routine, that I eat two or three times a week. Sushi. It exists in Europe, but isn't very popular, and especially in L.A. I started eating it. It's both tasty and healthy.

MT: I'm not a big sushi fan myself, but maybe we can get a local sushi restaurant to sponsor you. I'll take a look. Now, is there a particular magazine through which you like to browse when eating your sushi?
Jaric: I have become a subscriber for "Business Week." It teaches me a lot about business, and I have really started to get into it. I'm interested in business and learning about how everything works. I didn't get a chance to go to college, because I turned professional when I was 18, so I definitely need to see how the market works, and how real estate works.

MT: What do you miss most about your country?
Jaric: I miss my friends and family. They come visit a lot, and it's not that I'm nostalgic, but it's just different. It would be nice to see them more. Also, the environment over there is different than here. When you come to the Midwest, you see everyone so caught up in work. People are always working, working, working. People here seem to live to work, where as in (the former) Yugoslavia, people work to live. As much as people work over there, they still have time to go get a drink, to get together, to go to the cinema and see a movie. Here, during the week, it is dead. People are so dedicated to work.

MT: That seems like a completely fair assessment. Let's talk about fashion for a minute. Now, you're not a "Euro-hawk" guy or anything, but how would you measure your style?
Jaric: I'm not 18- or 20-years old anymore where I could do whatever I wanted. I used to dye my hair different colors, and have crazy periods, especially early in my career when I played in Italy. I try to be original today, because the saddest thing about today is that everyone is trying to hard to be someone else.

MT: So what are a few of your favorite places to shop?
Jaric: If I dress casually, I like to shop in L.A., which has great designers.

MT: Any in particular? You don't hang out on Rodeo Drive all the time, right?
Jaric: No, I actually go mostly to the smaller stores on Melrose, and not for the more famous brands, but for more casual stuff. I also like nice suits from Armani or Gucci, really elegant with a casual shirt.

MT: I won't be competing with you in any fashion contests, in that case. Good stuff Marko, thanks for being with us. We'll catch up with you soon.