Which side of me will win?

Top 5 stupid things I have done in the last week

I thought I’d present the first chapter of my Slovenia adventures into a easy-to-digest Top 5, suitable for consumption by an impatient, attention-deficient internet audience. So here goes…

Moved to Slovenia

Now, this one’s not entirely stupid. Not at all. It’s a brilliant, clever idea, I’m sure. But there’s something about quitting your job and moving to a country over 1,000 miles away with no real idea of what you’re doing that just is unavoidably stupid. You can keep your ‘brave’ and your ‘adventurous’. I’m not getting caught up in that kind of conceit. This is dumb and I can prove it.

So many times leading up to me coming here, people have asked me if I’m excited and I’ve generally replied, “Er…” then tried to explain how I don’t have enough time to do everything I need to do before I go, and that, generally speaking, I have no idea what I’m doing. They tend to reply in the vein of, “Ah, it’ll be all right.”

Once and for all, could people just stop saying that to me? I am casual and disorganised enough as it is without being encouraged. I’m not a panicker, I’m a realist. So if I’m saying there’s not enough time and not enough… er… knowing what I’m doing-ness, that’s because it’s true and the last thing I need is reassurance. I need someone to scream, “Then what the hell are you talking to me for? Get on with it!”

What I’m trying to say is that I left my flat in Bournemouth at half past midnight on the same morning as my flight and drove to my mum’s house where I needed to drop things off before catching a bus to Luton Airport. I got to my mum’s at 4. My bus was at 5:30. My flat wasn’t really left in an entirely clear, clean state. I just ran out of time and had to go.

Seriously, actually properly selling up and leaving takes so much, much, much longer than simply moving. I didn’t really expect that at first then, when I started figuring it out I thought, “Ah, it’ll be all right.” It won’t, you silly man.

A lot of rushing happened. A lot of tiredness was experienced. And, well, some of the consequences of these two factors have already begun to emerge. More on them later.

Took a cab to the middle of nowhere without knowing how I was getting back

A few hours after I arrived in Ljubljana on Thursday, I was chatting to my Slovene friend Ida on Facebook and she suggested I come to an event at Zblije Lake on Sunday called Japanese Summer Day (only, y’know, in Slovene). It was a little mini-festival celebrating 20 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Slovenia. Aw, bless. She was going to be working there as a volunteer, just generally helping out and stuff. I had no plans for Sunday so I said I’d definitely come. She mentioned a few vague things about trains and buses but I didn’t really look into it because I had to go out and meet Nina, another of my Slovene friends. I thought, I’ll look into it later.

I didn’t look into it later for reasons that will be explained in #2 on this list. For the same reasons, by the time Sunday came around, I didn’t know where to go. But I had seen a poster for the event at the train station, so I went and found that, and wrote down the location. No way I was about to embarrass myself by attempting to say it out loud. I mean honestly, who puts a Z a B and an L all in a row like that?

I went to the Tourist Information Centre at the station and was told I could get there by bus, and the lady printed me out a timetable. I took that to the bus station across the road and the lady there pointed out that the timetable was for Tuesday and that this bus did not run at all on a Sunday.

Neither of these ladies told me that Zbilje Lake was walking distance from the nearby town of Medvode, which is on a main road and has loads of buses, even on a Sunday, did they? No. They didn’t.

So I did what, only the night before, Nina had forbidden me from doing…

I caught a cab. And that was expensive.

And Ida wasn’t there when I got there. Or ever. She’d tried to tell me she wasn’t going, but I didn’t get her message because… see #2. In my search to find her though, I did meet some bright young volunteer helpers, one of whom told me exactly where I could get a bus back to Ljubljana. And that was cheap. About 10% of the price of the cab. I wouldn’t have had the faintest idea how to get home if it hadn’t been for them.

Turns out people in Slovenia are very helpful unless they are being paid to be helpful, in which case they’re a bit bad at it.

Brought my car key with me

It was in the pocket of my trousers. I brought my trousers because, y’know, I was wearing them. So, that’s how that happened.

Still, it was pretty stupid. I need to sell my car (or, to be precise, for my mum to sell my car on my behalf) because I need money. I really need money thanks to things like #4 and #1 on this list. The key to the car being over a thousand miles away from the car isn’t going to speed up this process. Pretty stupid.

Didn’t buy a UK-Europe power adapter before I left

I thought of it. I thought I’d get one at the airport. But I ended up rushing to the departure gate because I actually believed the information screen when it said it was ‘Boarding’, when all it actually meant was that people were now ‘Queuing’. Then it was five days before I got hold of one here because of having other things to do and because of there being a public holiday and because of thinking, “Ah… it’ll be all right” when actually it should have been a priority and would have prevented things like #4.

Still, I got lots of reading done during my three-day spell in the dark ages, and even learned some Slovene. I can say “Težko govorim Slovensko”, which means “I have trouble speaking Slovene”, a point much more clearly and concisely communicated by saying “Do you speak English?” but still, I said it to my Slovene flatmate and he said, “Exactly!” so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

Missed my flight by a day

My mum is a silly old lady. She always has been for as long as I’ve known her. If not always literally, then at least figuratively. She’s literally one now though, believe me. But still, in many ways it is I, her son, who is the silliest, oldest, ladiest silly old lady of all.

Apparently, a few weeks ago my mum and my brother were talking about what date I was leaving for Slovenia and she told him that I had told her it was on June 20th, the day after her birthday. He told her that I had told him it was definitely the 21st. Tragically, they were both right.

I must’ve told my mum when my flight was almost as soon as I’d booked it because as far as I can tell, I’ve been telling everyone else (including myself) that I was flying on the 21st ever since I booked it. I was right, of course. I did fly on the 21st June. But that was only because I missed the flight I’d booked for the 20th June by an entire day. This was really quite an expensive, not to mention really embarrassing and really stupid mistake.

So yeah, I’d rushed out of Bournemouth and driven through the night and got up at half past five to catch a plane that I had already long missed. And there was no Adria Airlines flight from Luton to Ljubljana on the 21st, which is, of course, why I’d booked on the 20th instead.

As luck would have it, when I went on Facebook at the airport to tell my Slovene friends that I wouldn’t be arriving on the 21st, my good friend George just happened to be up, awake and on Facebook and she suggested a way in which I could still arrive that day – catch a bus to Stansted and fly with Easyjet instead. So I did that, but gosh, Easyjet are scoundrels when it comes to excess baggage, and I had plenty. Let’s not talk about exactly how much it cost me, suffice to say they charged me twice as much for the bags as they charged me for me.

Still, I got here on the 21st. Show’s what that silly old lady knows.


Filed under: Slovenia, , , , ,

One Response

  1. ianos83 says:

    Ah, it’ll be all right.

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