MORE TRANSIT ADVENTURES
I FINALLY FIGURED OUT A FINAL SOLUTION TO THE KOSOVO PROBLEM.
Getting a bus out of there! YUK YUK!
So, silly me, having faith and stuff, assumed that when the receptionist at the best hotel in town (The PRISTINA GRAND HOTEL, no LESS) told me that Americans don't have problems travelling from Kosovo to Serbia, I believed the SLIMY ALBANIAN MOTHERFUCKER.
CAPITALIZATION MAKES ME HARD.
We had been warned previously, by our Sarajevo host, David, that going from Kosovo to Serbia is not possible. They give you some shit at the border about entering Serbia illegally and then make you turn back. But I had faith, and figured it wouldn't happen to me.
Well, it did.
OK, it didn't. But when I attempted to board a bus for Sarajevo, the bus driver, bus stooge (some other employee who rides the bus and basically does nothing except for collect tickets and apparently fix the bus, as I learned later), and like 4 other people frantically went through my passport and explained to me, NO FUCKING WAY DUDE. This guy, who spoke some English, translated:
The driver was saying I could try to go if I wanted, but that it would be best if I didn't, because I'd almost definately end up stranded at the border. Nice.
So translating dude, who was awesome and who's name I never got, was very happy to meet me. "OH! YOU ARE AMERICAN! IN KOSOVO WE FEEL LIKE AMERICANS ARE OUR BROTHERS!" And then this gem, I shit you not, "YOU CALL HIM BILL CLINTON, I CALL HIM FATHER. WE LOVE BILL CLINTON. JESUS CHRIST TO YOU IS BILL CLINTON TO KOSOVO PEOPLE."
I can't make this stuff up. They really do love slick Billy C, straight out of Harlem, mothafucka.
Since my next destination was Mostar, in southern Bosnia, I decided to take a bus to Podgorice, the capital of Montenegro, the world's newest country and keeper of the mighty dwarf fjords and fire smelt of the excalibur. Lucky for me, there was a bus leaving in an hour! They said the trip was 4 hours. That's when the FUN started!
I boarded the bus an hour before it left, at 7PM. I was happy to sit on an empty bus, figuring it would stay that way. Then I met awesome dude from Macedonia and had a conversation...he spoke German, I spoke English. That was fun. We were doing great, then bus stooge ticket man fascist started screaming at us. We were in the wrong seats. And the bus was filling up rapidly.
So every seat on the bus was full. But hey, 4 hours, not too bad on a hot smelly bus. So about 2 hours later we make it out of Kosovo, and hit the border with Montenegro. Which involved about 45 minutes of switchbacks all taken at about 10 kilometers per hour. The Kosovo side was cake. You'd think the UN would have a little more security, but they're probably just happy to see people leaving.
Then the Montenegrin side. Where they were apparently bored and decided to search the ENTIRE FUCKING BUS. Everyone had their bags searched, every little nook and cranny on the bus was searched, and my anus was searched with a Black and Decker. Well, not really, but only because that technology hasn't made it out here yet. The Dwarves had better get on that shit.
So, now an hour behind, we loaded the bus up again and continued our journey...at something like 20 kilometers per hour. There's nothing more disturbing than being in a bus that's being passed by other buses. Meanwhile, the bus is picking up more people from the side of the road, and people are standing in the aisle because there are no seats left. So the bus is full of people, the heat is all the way up, and shit starts going down. Crying baby, sure. But that's ordinary. Did I mention guy who kept running to the back exit to vomit? Oh, and the teenager behind me who passed out from heat exhaustion, and had to be reapeatedly slapped until he woke up. Meanwhile, the Bus TV is blaring a loop of some Albanian TV show that is something like the grind meets Milli Vanilli. There are all these dancing fools, and famous pop stars come on the show to lip sync their songs while everyone dances...badly. One of the male dancers had 2 drum sticks, I swear to god, and he was air drumming. This would have been hilarious, except Albanian music is FUCKING AWFUL. I think it might win out over Russian Techno for being THE WORST MUSIC ON THE ENTIRE PLANET. Apparently the Albanian shit is the same as the Turkish Pop. So it's all the Turks fault, as usual.
After about 3 hours of wondering why the bus was going SO FUCKING SLOW, we pull over at the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Apparently some tire had been fucked up, which is why the guy was driving so slow...he was trying to make the tire last all the way to Podgorice. So now we're 3 hours late. So we stand on the middle of the road for an hour while, using MY FLASHLIGHT, they fix the tire. Then we go another kilometer and we stop again, this time at a 24 hour cafe. Apparently, it's going to be awhile. Which is OK with the bus driver, who's happy to catch a nap.
Meanwhile, I make a friend. His name is Mark, he's Albanian, and he's fucking amazing. He's full of quips like, "Balcanic People, we cannot stop killing each other," and, "Every time we drink a Coca-Cola, we have to kill somebody." His English was pretty good, and we chatted for quite awhile. He invited me to stay at his place in Montenegro, which I'm hoping to do on my way back. We'll see.
So we wait, and I see this:
DAYBREAK ALA MONTENEGRO. WEEEE!
Then I wait a little longer and I see this:
Oh look, the bus is wide open and nobody is fixing it. That's because the bus driver forgot the key to the engine and was hitchhiking to Podgorice to get it. Oops! And he had to cut his nap short. So we wait some more. SUNRISE:
Sure enough, around 9:30, the bus driver returns with a key and I see this:
IT'S THE BUS FIXING SHOW. By the way, the flashlight in the middle of both pictures is Official Sherman Family Property XXL Nike Gap.
Around 10AM we get on the bus again. Then at 10:30 we get to Podgorice. How fardid we travel from 3AM until 10:30AM? 17 FUCKING KILOMETERS. I COULD HAVE FUCKING WALKED THAT IN 4 HOURS, TOPS. HOLY FUCKING SHIT.
Here's Mark. He's cool:
In other news, I'm in Ukraine now. Last night, upon arriving at L'viv, I got my ass frozen, then got off at the wrong bus stop. I encountered some teenage punks, who tried to rob me and slapped me around. A Babushka stopped then, funny that. There were people everywhere, but only Babushka did something. They were filming me with a camera and telling me bad words to repeat. They were very angry that I didn't give them dollars, the little shits. They also tried to reach into my pockets. Good thing I didn't have to kick the shit out of them. Pussies.