spajdi, osijek
© Peter Parker

Pictures and video: does Osijek have its own masked superhero?

Written by
Marc Rowlands

In the sometimes sleepy city of Osijek, in eastern Croatia, the month of January is usually a relaxed affair. But, over recent days, video and images have emerged of a masked man roaming the streets in a costume that looks remarkably like that of Spider-Man.

Braving minus temperatures, the inappropriately dressed figure was first caught on a video which emerged last Thursday evening.

The video appears to show the costumed crusader running from the challenging ascent of a wall when confronted by a passer-by. He was again caught on camera at night, sitting alone on a bench in the shadows of the city centre.

But, over more recent days, 'Spajdi' has become more gregarious. He has been pictured enjoying a drink in one of Osijek's many excellent cafes and bars. The most recent sighting caught him on his way to support Croatia in this evening's final of the male European Handball Championships.

Spajdi enjoying a coffee in one of Osijek's many excellent cafes and bars

Osijek is the largest city in Slavonia and, as it lies within the Pannonian Basin, it can get quite cold in winter. Exactly what has prompted this hero onto the freezing streets, in the superhero summer-wear of sports shorts, remains to be learned. The city has an extremely low crime rate and is not known for having an overt drug problem.

Spajdi on his way to watch today's handball game

However, the city of Osijek does have a sizeable student population. And two neighbourhoods in particular, Retfala and Višnjevac, are notorious for the comparatively high percentage of weirdos who live there, who can often be found spending their evenings drinking in the all-night gas station.

Is Osijek's 'Spajdi' a masked vigilante, a student prankster, a bored jogger whose friends all left for Ireland or just a freezing idiot? You decide. Curious superhero hunters should note that there are many great things to do in Osijek besides drinking all night in a Retfala gas station or running round in subzero temperatures wearing lycra shorts.

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