The last two days have been ridiculously beautiful. I know I keep saying this but what other options do I have? This region is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been – it’s actually silly.
It started in Bosnia with some Lord of the Ringsy mountains – forested, snow capped and puffing out mist like a drug addicted titan. As I crossed the border with Herzegovina* the mountains crumbled into rocky hills with folds like a fat man stomach. In between all this ran a bubblegum popsicle coloured river and specks of terracotta roofed villages. Then all of a sudden the hill flab folded away to reveal an enormous and far plain, lime and speckled with spring flowers.
This was all before I arrived at Dubrovnik.
Yep. Silly isn’t it. It’s weird to think people actually live here. It’s not just a transient pleasure palace for backpackers and yatch owners. Those locals are hogging all the nice. They see all this everyday. They probably don’t even care anymore. I know of a few places that could use some nice. Singleton for instance needs some. Poi Pet, definitely needs some. C’mon guys share it around.
I had a few funny rides yesterday. There was this one tomato coloured gentlemen who was confusingly either constantly angry or very excited. Every few minutes he would turn around and yell some things in Bosnian, the whole time his body would jitter and jiggle like a fatty bum mid skydive. When he stopped spasming he would go entirely still and look at me with his expressionless red face. ‘What do you think’ it seemed to say. Fuck I dunno, you’re speaking in Bosnian dude.
A couple of young Herzegovinians picked me in up in a car with no interior – it was just seats, metal and wires. I was afraid to move too much in case I touched something and got electrocuted. I offered the couple some of my Swiss hazelnut chocolate wafers, they laughed a lot. I didn’t know why until a few minutes later I realised they had about 7 teeth between them. They gave it to their kleenex ad baby.
Another guy with a lazy eye and a gut with a pubic forest hauling out of his shirt asked me for some money. Yeah whatever, I gave him what he asked for. When we stopped he asked me if I wanted to go to the edge of the next highway for another few dollars. I accepted not knowing how far it was. He took me a few blocks and dropped me off.
“You said it was far?” I asked.
“That was like one kilometre!”
“I’ll drive you to Dubrovnik for 20 Euro.”
Who responds to a complaint with an even shitter offer?!
He told me I couldn’t hitchhike because no one was going in that direction. My wait for the next car lasted a total of 4 minutes. The two middled aged ladies, who I imagine would look rather swanky to some older gentleman, took me all the way to Dubrovnik.
Selena and Annika had booked me a room in their hotel, naturally when I arrived I headed straight there. There was no reception, counter or anyone working anywhere – all I could see was a buzzer into someone’s living room, so I buzzed it. Sound of shuffling, then talking, the door slides open with a regretful groan. A woman stands in front of me not saying anything. Her hair is straight, her nails are fluoro, long and painted with little black lines. Her boobs and lips are so bulbus they could be used as pollution booms in Hong Kong harbour. She scares me.
“Hello. My friends made a booking for me.”
“Oh I’m not sure, either Selena, Annika or Nick.”
“I have no booking.”
“Oh can I use the internet to contact them?”
“No. You can’t use the internet without a booking.”
“Oh well if I don’t have a booking I’ll make one anyway. I’m going to stay here tonight.”
Sometime around here she stopped talking like a normal human being and instead yelled at me as if I had just shat on her couch and snorted her dad’s ashes off the back of her newborn baby.
“I can’t give you the password without a booking.”
“I understand that. If I contact them I will know the name of the booking and we can work it out.”
“There are no bookings for tonight.”
Now she’s furiously waving her arms around like a drunk windmill.
“Is it full?” I ask.
“I only have bookings for 4 or 6. Not 3 people.”
“Which room are my friends staying in?”
“They aren’t here.”
“What. They told me they’ve made a booking for me.”
“Maybe they lied to you. I think they’re in Split.”
“No they didn’t lie to me. They’re my friends.” You fucking cranky bitch.
“They said they were going to Split.”
“Why are we arguing?”
“What’s arguing?” It’s the first calm thing she’s said since I arrived.
“ehhhh. Angry talking.” I say not sure how how best to avoid her fury.
“I’M NOT ANGRY TALKING! YOU’RE ANGRY TALKING. HOW CAN I GIVE YOU THE INTERNET. YOU HAVE NO BOOKING. YOU HAVE NO NAME. WHAT CAN I DO?!”
After this I left to find some internet. About fifteen minutes later after I got to town I got a message from Selena saying she was in the hotel and everyone was screaming. I did have a booking after all and the woman had made a mistake. I walked the fifteen minutes all the way back up the hill to our hotel. I didn’t know the girls’ room so I approached the buzzer. Here we go again.
As soon as she saw me she launched into a tirade of . . . well . . . I don’t really know. I think she was trying to blame Selena and Annika for what happened but I was so over interacting with her my mind had forgotten how to listen to the English language. The only thing I took in was a story she told about a guy who had diabetes and needed and injection from the hospital.
“But I didn’t know where he was. The hospital kept calling. So I need to know where all my customers are. You understand?”
“Yeah, yeah. Sure.” What the fuck. What are you talking about?
Later on that night I went back to the buzzer. The hostel website promised cable tv but our room didn’t have enough power points to plug it in. I Asked her for a double adapter. This was all she said:
“We don’t have those in Croatia.”*
Rides taken: 10
Distance travelled: 198km
Average wait: 20mins
*Bosnia and Herzegovina is one country but two different states with different cultures, dialects and landscapes.
*this is just a summary of a whole bunch if different shit we went through with this crazy woman and her disillusioned family.