I have finally uploaded the photos from my cousin’s wedding in Serbia- now I can tell you a tale and illustrate it with photographs… how thrilled you all must be.
But first I would like to congratulate the person who found my blog by searching for ‘Ben Affleck The Town’, I know what you’re playing at you dirty perv and I salute you. To the person who found my blog by searching ‘was Myra Hindley wearing much make-up on her mugshot’, all I can say is I hope you find what you are looking for, but if you would like to see what Myra might have looked like wearing a tiny bit more make-up, I can email you a copy of my student card photograph.
And now onto last weekend- I still can’t believe that I managed to get myself from bed, to Belgrade, and back again, in less than twenty four hours...
My journey started on Saturday morning, a little later than planned, about forty minutes later to be exact. I have no idea how this happened. I had planned to be on the Roissy bus (the bus that goes to the airport from either Opera or Porte Malliot) for 7.30, but after faffing about taking my rollers out (they had got all tangled up in my enthusiastic night's sleep, meaning that the big, bouncy curls of my imaginings came out more like limp tendrils, but still, any wave is better than no wave… or at least makes it easier for me to pretend I am a gypsy) I wasn't ready to leave until 7.30am.
Just as I was about to leave, I realised that the bus stopped at each terminal and I didn’t know what terminal I was flying from. After spending ten minutes turning on my laptop, waiting for it to start-up and then messing about trying to get Tunisian Man’s internet to work (why does he taunt me?) I realised that the terminal was written on my boarding pass.
By the time I got to the bus stop, which took me a long time, plus frantic phone calls to Amy and Kayt asking for directions, it was 8.30am. It was 8.30 and my flight left in less than an hour. I started to panic a little bit and when I panic a white veil of cloudy light descends over the part of my brain that deals with Other Languages…
It was like I’d just arrived in France, from the moon. I asked the bus driver for a return (which is 25 euros, if you’re wondering) and then forgot to take my ticket. He was shouting ‘mademoiselle’ and everyone on the bus was staring at me but I wasn’t registering French so he had to walk down the bus and ask me if I’d wanted a return, waving this ticket in my face. I didn’t take the ticket until this American man stood up and said ‘Ma'am, he said that is your ticket’ and everyone looked at me, tutting, thinking ‘Can’t even be bothered to learn the language’ and I would have stood up and yelled ‘I’ve had fights with bouncers in French!’ but I was too stressed and anyway, that would be a lie, I just yell at them in English.
The whole bus journey I was sighing and swearing under my breath like a Deranged Person and when we finally got to my terminal, I followed the driver into the staff toilets because I thought he was showing me where to go. He wasn’t, but I found my way anyway and just as I got to the gate, they started boarding. I was so relieved, but swore to myself never, ever to Cut It Fine again. I am a nervous flyer. I need at least two hours at the airport to convince myself I’m not going to miss my flight.
Oh my God, just as I was typing I checked my blog and 'Alice', someone who reads my blog who I don't actually know, has commented saying she is stuck in Mexico City without her luggage. My ‘flight story’ really is very lame in comparision so I’ll stop going on about it now. Skipping to the end of my (lovely and stress-free flight), I arrived at Belgrade airport at noon. I exchanged my euros for thousands of Serbian dinar (a tenner is 1000 dinar, roughly). Normally when I’m on holiday I make sure that I can at least say ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’ and ‘thank you’, but I can’t say one word in Serbian, in fact I can’t even say one letter because it’s a different alphabet. When I was exchanging money I did the whole thing in complete silence. It was weirrrrrd.
Thankfully my cousin Emily (the bride's sister) and her boyfriend came to meet me at the airport and we got a taxi together. I hope she wasn't offended because she's seven month's pregnant and I kept calling her unborn child 'it'.
They took me to the hotel where some of the English guests are staying. My three other cousins, a cousin from the Bride's other side of the family, plus my brother were waiting for me. My 'No Hugging or Touching Except For A Small Selection of Female Relatives' policy extends even to my brother, but I did poke him on the arm because I haven't seen him for a few months. They took me to the hostel round the corner where I would be staying. They had already been there one night and they introduced me to the owner who sleeps on a wooden shelf above the reception desk. The hostel was nice, it had a cat and it was called 'Three Black Catz'.
I don’t know what to say about Belgrade really because I didn’t see much of it. I went for a walk around with my brother and took some photos, but we didn’t wander far in case we got lost. There were shops selling tight, dated ‘clubbing wear’, the kind of clothes shops you would find in run-down areas of Paris or on Stockport market. There was also a McDonalds and a Costa’s…. I guess the world is kind of blending into itself, a smoggy brown of cheap tat and coffee in polystyrene cups.
Ok... so every where isn't really the same, it just feels like that sometimes. Belgrade, from what I saw of it, seemed like a very interesting place. It had lots of unique quirks, such as the disused railway track that runs along the river and is very close to a children's playground. Well, at first we thought it was disused, but as we walked over it we heard the train coming and discovered quite quickly that we were wrong:
I will finish this tomorrow (and talk about the actual wedding- only I could write something entitled 'My Cousin's Wedding' and talk about myself the whole way through) tomorrow, right now I have to sweep my bed of clothes, keys, mugs, books, chargers, bags and hangers before I can sleep. In fact I think I might just make a nest in the middle.
Good night, sleep tight... and I hope you get sorted at Mexico City Airport Alice!