Dont tell mum

Don’t tell mum. Please. If you do, she’ll be terribly angry with me, and probably so afraid that I’ll never get to go anywhere on my own again. I know that what I did was extremely foolish; I don’t need mum to tell me that. But did I really have any choices? I did certainly not intend to end up in Eastern Europe, alone, with ten euros, in the middle of the night. Of course, nobody spoke English, French or German either. I felt terribly lonely and scared. So I decided to trust the girl I met five minutes before, and go along with her friend. A rathe big and bulky guy – apparently his grandma had a bed I could sleep in…

So how did I end up with this guy, in a dark and narrow alley? We all know that interrail can be a challenge, especially if you start by losing your backpack. I had a short flight from Oslo to Copenhagen. I had a feeling that something was wrong and I was unfortunate to be right. My luggage never arrived in Denmark. It turned out that it went on a trip on its own. It has done that before, so I wasn’t surprised. This time it had gone to Greece. I went to Belgium, where I would spend a couple of nights at a friend’s place. My backpack turned up a couple of days later than expected, so Paris was cancelled, and I went straight to Switzerland. According to plan A I was going to meet two of my friends in Croatia, but this part of Europe has few railways. In order to get to Croatia I had to go through Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, and Bosnia Herzegovina in 30 hours. Off course, there was no chance I would get there in time. Trains in Eastern Europe are a bit different. You have the old system with coupes. I rather like that, because you get to chat with people – or at least try, given that we had no common language of communication. It was a long travel, and it was delayed to an extent where I knew I would miss my buss. The buss that would take me to my friends and the room they had found. So there I was, in Montenegro, rather late.

The taxi drivers stared at me. One of them approached me. He was a bit older than the others, and he told me he had a daughter my age – so I trusted him, although there was no reason to. He gesticulated that he could take me to the next bus station, and that he’d make it in time for me to catch the bus. We negotiated the prize, which left me with ten euros (I probably wasn’t the best at negotiating…). At the next bus station there were slightly more people, no bus though. The taxi left and I went to look at the schedule and buy a ticket from the counter which was still open. The next bus left the following afternoon. The girl behind the counter was the first person during my whole Eastern Europe-trip that spoke understandable English. She was my age, and I asked for her help. Could I trust anyone around here? I told her I had ten euros and needed a place to sleep, did she know anyone? Off course she did. She had a friend. Five minutes later, the bulky guy turned up. I went with him. The streets were dark, and there were no one outside. Before entering a narrow alley I hesitated. This WAS stupid. Who was I fooling? He had a bed I could sleep in right? Or was this his bed… My thoughts rambled through my brain as my feet continued walking. If he tried anything I could just turn and run. I’d kick and bite and scream. I’m good at that, I thought. He’ll be the one regretting it should he try anything. Suddenly he stopped. We were standing in front of a small door, leading to a cosy, little courtyard. By the door there was an old lady. The two of them exchanged a couple of words, and the brittle, old woman gave him a kiss on the cheek. He wished me good night and left. I was relieved as the old lady showed me my room and said good night in her own language. I got away with stupidity this time.

E Melteig

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