" I was alone and in the middle of nowhere"
This is a "silly" photo I took in my hostel in Sweden. I had one hundred from 4 different currencies and I was like; "oh, I have to take a photo of that. This may never happen again."
Only a week after my trip to Sweden, I was back to my base in Poland planning my next solo unlucky trip where I had all my cash stolen and as a result I had to cancel my upcoming trip to Budapest. My trip in Hungary would take place in early December and would be the last one for 2016 extending my own record by visiting 9 countries in just one year. So, let me travel you back to time once again:
Living in Nysa, a small city just 15 km away from the Czech-Polish borders, I was thinking of visiting Czech Republic for the third time. After searching a bit I decided to start my new journey by visiting Jesenik, a small town only one hour and a half away by train. And so I did.
At Glucholazy Town, only 15 km from Nysa, there was a train connection with small Czech towns nearby where you could even go for a day trip. In this photo, I was already in Czech Republic and the train stopped at a small village.
I arrived in Jesenik on a Friday morning; the picturesque town of 15.000 residents was surrounded by high mountains that you could hardly see because of the low-lying mist. My apartment was kind easy to find and after checking-in I took my camera and head to the woods nearby. This was a small adventure that I will never forget (sorry for the cliché but it truly was).
The view from my window. My apartment was actually located on a small… "island" since there was a river crossing both sides of this neighborhood. Furthermore, I realized that I am actually a winter boy. I miss so much the cold, the mist, the snow, the smoke from
the chimneys, this kind of sadness you feel due to this atmosphere, I miss spending time in locals' homes and having fun indoor. Reminiscing all the above truly warm my heart…
The forest was magically creepy mostly due to the fog and I managed to take some stunning photos. After wandering around, feeling a part of nature and drinking the best cool water I have ever tasted from a natural source I decided to walk down the hill.
In the woods of Jesenik; to be honest, I keep the best photos just for me and few friends, but this a characteristic pic of my unforgettable experience.
While I was walking down the hill, a woman parked her car next to the road and got out to fill some bottles with water. I was intrigued to try it too and so I did after she left.
Almost half an hour later, I was in the center of the small town, I walked around the square seeking for a cozy café. All I needed was a hot green tea and hopefully “marlenka”, the famous czech sweet. Fortunately, there was one last piece. Lucky me!
A winter Friday evening at the cute center of Jesenik. There was a small Christmas Market in the square but not many people around.
"Marlenka" in its all glory. To be honest, I don't really like sweets or chocolates but I fell in love with this honey-pie. Firstly I thought "marlenka" was a Czech traditional sweet, since it was way too popular, however I later heard it is actually an armenian traditional sweet (!) Isn't that amazing? I mean the way that two different cultures interact between each other even they are not even located in the same region.
After relaxing in the cute café, I went back to my room to take a shower and dress up for my Friday night out. And here the real story begins… As you may imagine, there were not many choices in such a small place but fortunately I found a pub with locals of all ages. What happened next? Well, I drunk many beers, I met some people and I had fun. After paying my drinks (!), I stayed few more moments there and then I unsuspectingly head back to my room… And now the questions arises…
Grabbing a Czech draft beer and taking selfies in the pub. What's interesting is that there is always a small or big story behind the photos I upload on Instagram. The most enjoying part for me is that people don't know the story and they think is just a nice photo…
I woke up next day a bit hangover, after checking out – still having now idea of the loss – I went to main station to get the train for Prague. Arriving there I walked to the cashier to get my ticket. When the cashier told me the amount, I opened my wallet just to find out the sad true. I was frozen. My first thought was what the fuck has happened; how, when, who… Everything else was in my wallet, but the cash were missing. The cashier was looking at me-not very patiently I would say- while I was taking off my debit card with slow moves. Then, the woman informed me that I would have to take a shuttle bus which will drive me to another station where I would get my train. I got out of the train station and I boarded on the bus while my mind was trying to figure out the mystery. Just after moments the driver put forth I loudly said; "Please stop. I got stolen. I want to get off”. The driver stopped and then the people around me were shocked. They started asking me when or where I got stolen. “I don’t know. I think in my hotel”, I was answering back. A guy next to me told me the emergency number of the police but my mind was so confused that I could hardly hear.
As I got out of the bus, I walked fast with my luggage to the cashier again. I was trying to explain my situation but with no result. She beckoned at me to wait and she called her nephew, as I understood. Fortunately, I explained my situation to her and after the translation the woman looked at me with compassion and then she called the police for me. She was that helpful that she invited me inside her office and made me greek coffee. That was comicotragic. In the meantime, as a surprise I was very calm. Almost one hour later, two policemen arrived and I felt a relief when the approached me but only to realize they actually didn’t speak English. The woman tried to explained that I had got stolen and then they decided to get me in the patrol and drive me to the police office.
Yes, I took a photo in the patrol! I must say that I enjoyed my ride. I mean the situation was kind funny; it was my first time in a patrol and I was abroad in the middle of nowhere, in a town that nobody have heard before. I mean my friends and family just knew I was wandering somewhere in Czech Republic.
After a ten minute drive, we were there. We got out and they lead me in an office on the third floor of a huge-considering the size of the town- building. A young policeman was waiting there for us. I just prayed to God that he could understand me. He asked for my ID and then how much money I was stolen. "Well, I had 1000 czech crowns, 100 zloty, 50 swedish crowns and 10 euro”, I said after giving him my documents. I think he couldn’t totally understand me or more probably he could but he was surprised by the 4 different currencies I had in my wallet. Meanwhile, the other policeman who was checking my ID looked at me and asked if I was Greek. “Yes, I am Greek”, I answered back and then he left the room. My next thought was that I wanted to leave the office mostly cause I had lost any hope of being understood. What is more, I would miss the next train for Prague. But well, I was proved wrong; five minutes later the young police man came back with another colleague of him. When his colleague saw me, he greeted me in fluent greek. One shock after another. I blinked my eyes. “You gotta be kidding me right? Are you greek?”, I asked him in greek. “Yes I am half-greek. My name is Giorgos”. In that moment, I could hardly keep myself from laughing. I mean what an irony! This was not a tragedy, it was a comedy.The story goes on with telling my basic suspicion…
And this is the 70% of the real facts. There is another 30% much more exciting and unbelievable but I am going to keep that just for myself. What matters is that I felt I had to go to the police cause I want it to have a kind of justice. The policemen proved to be very helpful; they gave me the number of my case and an email address where I could contact and be informed about the progress of the investigation. Furthermore, they even drive me to the center where I wanted to go at a café and relax before I move to my next destination (I had already missed the second train for Prague). Almost two weeks later, I was informed that they actually did a good job (sorry don’t want to share more)… Of course, money were never found.
More Funny Facts:
1) I have to admit that I was specially sad to be stolen of this “50 swedish crowns” banknote because it was about to join my collection. Damn!
2) After the cafe, I had to go back to the train station to catch the train. Apart from my cards, all I got were some coins and so I decided to take a taxi to drive me there. What a risk! Eventually the driver asked for 100 crowns, I was counting all of my coins just to find out I had 106 crowns with me (that's not more than 4 euro). Bingo babe!