Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We barely escaped Bosnia with our lives...

...just kidding. you should go, its great.

Unfortunately, we dont have any pictures from Split, and its all because of the bus. When my bus from NF to TO broke down on the side of the highway, and the door was jammed shut and we were going to be stuck on the bus for all eternity, I thought it was pretty bad. But no, my friends, I had no idea. Allow me to paint you a picture. We are on the bus (the worlds ugliest bus, with mustard yellow and old circly wood) from Mostar to Split, Croatia. It is suppose to take 4 to 4.5 hours. The road, the 401 equivalent is apparently 2 lanes. However, really what this means is that they pave the middle part of the road and have a gravel shoulder on each side which when included in the width would be about as wide as a neighbourhood street. Wide enough for passing...barely. The landscape is beautifully mountainous. Nice to look at, sickening to drive up, down and around on. The road hugs the cliff and guard rails are a novelty. You cannot see around the bend because it is a 90° turn, but when you get there, lo and behold, a transport truck or another bus will be there turning as well. It is a guarantee. We were so close to the driver of the other truck that we can see his pores...TERRIFYING! And, I think I am going to be sick.

About an hour in, the bus stops in the middle of a "town" and everyone gets off. After a "discussion" with the bus driver it seems that the bus is going to the "garaga". Ok. We get off the bus and sit on our luggage to wait. People start to take their bags and leave the bus stop. Where are they going? Then a taxi guy says, "Lady, Split is 4.5 to 5 hours, why dont you take a taxi. I can get you there in 2 or 2.5". Right. No thanks. Wait a minute, does he mean the bus wont be back for another 4.5 hours? I send Jonathan on recon. He comes back and says the bus will return any minute...he thinks...maybe.

The bus returns in about half an hour. Not bad. Unfortunately we have to get back on the road. We only go through Bosnian customs once on our way out as opposed to three times we managed on our way in (p.s. they appear to have stray cats living at the border...interesting).

The twists and turns and ups and downs seem endless. We stop somewhere that I am praying is Split, but isnt and we buy a little pizza. Half way through eating it I notice meat sneakily hiding under the cheese. We get back on the bus again. I actually think I am going to throw up this time. Yup. I do. Good thing, as a result of some random act of God, we have a plastic bag handy. Gross. And the guy behind me is still staring at me. How do I know? I can see his reflection in the onboard tv.

Finally we are in Split and we get off the bus and sit down. I feel disgusting, as you would expect. Then some lady comes over and is trying to sell us some lace. "No". She keeps trying to convince us. "NO". We are a little more stern. Now she is pointing at us an yelling. "Listen, lady, I am going to throw up all over your lace!" A local guy takes pity on me and tells her to leave. I am eternally grateful.

So I start thinking about what I have eaten. Oh yes. There was that 100g of (what I believe to be) chicken, which hadnt been refrigerated for two days...for breakfast. Maybe not a good idea. But here is what happened. The deli lady in Dubrovnik is not friendly. So I asked for 100g of chicken and she gives it to me. Then I ask for 200g of cheese. She thinks I want more chicken and before I realize she is cutting more chicken than even I can eat. I say, "excuse me, cheese please". She replies, "Ok", and continues to cut the chicken. When all is said and done, I leave the store with 300g of chicken and 200g of cheese.

So after we find a place to sleep, I decide what I need is some gelato. My stomach doesnt seem to agree...and, yup...there I am again puking on a busy public street puking in a garbage can. Then, since there was still some acid left in my stomach, I puked yet again outside the city walls in the grass. Yup, Im a gem.

Dont worry, I feel great now.

p.s. I would like to note that Bosnian people are extremely helpful and friendly.

p.p.s. This computer wont let us load pictures.


Laura said...

AWESOME story, Kristen! sorry you puked so much... I can totally sympathize with the constant fear of death on the buses. What amazes me is that we still take them. Is it worth risking our lives? Either we think it is, or we're not as afraid as we say we are.

Sarah said...

I am shocked that the pomebot herself, turned down chicken!

"When it's hot... chickenbot...
When its not... chickenbot!!"

I just laughed out loud writing that..