Thursday, September 3, 2015

Up the creek without a passport

Before you read any further, make sure you take a deep breath because this gets intense.

After 5 weeks volunteering at the hostel in Croatia, I have decided to take a couple weeks and travel Bosnia before returning. I was feeling a little nervous about heading back out onto the road, maybe even a smaller version of what I was feeling before I left Australia. But what could go wrong? 4 months on the road had surely prepared me for everything. Think again.

The bus from Plitvice Lakes left at midnight and I was already super unprepared. That afternoon while starting to prepare for the trip, I realised that the night bus to Mostar was finishing for the season and that night was my only chance to catch it. So I packed up and hit the road.

After managing to get on the bus and laying in an hour long, uncomfortable bus coma that backpackers only know too well, I realised one thing... my passport, the one important thing to remember, was sitting safe in my locker back at the hostel. And I was headed to Bosnia/Eastern Europe/the Balkans. By this time I was in the middle of nowhere and could do absolutely nothing. So I layed in another uncomfortable bus coma for a further four hours imagining every eventuality under the sun.  I was still pretty calm but you can't not be stressed at a time like this. Do you know how freaking scary border officials are? If you don't, count your lucky stars.

After the four hours, I was woken from my restless slumber by some Croatian language over the loud speaker. I understood two words though: passport control. On cue, my heart started thumping and I got ready to fight or flight. I ended up having the below conversation with two separate, scary, border officials. And you guessed it, they didn't speak English.

Border official:  "Passport."
Me: "Left passport in Hrvatska, at hostel/zimmer."
Border official: "Where passport?"
Me:  "At Korenica, I travel Bosnia only one/uno week."
*Confused expression*
Me: "I'm Australian." *hand Aussie drivers license over*
Border official:  "Need passport"
Me:  "Bosnia only one week, then back to Hrvatska."
*Confused expression*
 *Border official leaves bus with license in hand*

After a tense few minutes, he gruffly mutters ok and throws my license at the bus driver. Phew. I think the only reason they let me through was a combination of not understanding me, not knowing how to deal with me, and not wanting to deal with me. For those who don't know, that conversation had English, a couple Croatian words, and one German word. What was I thinking?

So here I am in Bosnia, completely up the creek without a passport. Next task, ask the hostel to post my passport to my hostel in Sarajevo.  Hopefully it makes it!

I'll leave you with a heartfelt plea, if you see me on Eastern Europe border control, get me out with whatever it takes.

I hope this brightened your day or brought a smile to your face. Remember that you can deal with almost anything, and if you can't change it, there's no point getting worked up. Usually the worst case scenario isn't actually that bad, it is just blown up inside your head.

I'll leave you with a great quote that I saw the other day.

Love and miss you all.

1 comment:

  1. At least you'll have some drama to tell your grandkids lol...I remember my daughter leaving the Turkish border, the border police were armed to the hilt and looking through everyones baggage, she was scared stiff...not a pleasant thing to go through at all!