Wednesday 27th August – “I’m looking for a knife” he says

Our last photo in Croatia. Taken by Zarko in Samobor just out of Zagreb.

Gilbert’s up early and I struggle to wake at 8 but we’re ready for the airport when Zarko and Mirjana arrive. I’m quite sad to be leaving but Mirjana keeps telling me she is sure we will be back and I hope so. I’m a bit frightened they will take us to have coffee and have to eat cake again but it’s a quick stop at Tonys hotel as he has left a package there for us. Sea legs and snorkel etc for our cruise. Gilbert’s left room in his backpack so they slip in there. Zarko marvels at our small luggage and asks why would we do this? He likes the idea but said they could never do it as Mirjana takes and buys so much stuff. Sometimes they take two big bags and return with four. I may have misunderstood but I think he said last trip they returned with 94 kilos!

I tell him, in a way I would love to travel with more luggage. More selection of clothes instead of the same few things but also to buy more stuff. Everything is so cool and I am only stopped purchasing by the limitations of our bag. On the other hand, when I think about the things I have bought on other travels, much of it is sitting in a cupboard or on a shelf. Travel should be about experiences and the people you meet, not material gains, and I hate lugging stuff around, waiting at luggage carousels at airports. This is working good and as long as we can be strong about not buying we’ll be fine.

We say goodbye and head through to x-Ray where the metal detector goes off. “Please remove your shoes” the woman says as she motions me to approach her. I do as I’m told. They have that kind of look that brokes no question. She looks me in the eye and says.
“You made the metal detector go off so now I will have to give you a full search. I nod. I’m guessing it’s not the ‘full’ search as we are in the middle of the airport but it’s pretty damn thorough. She presses into my soft, womanly bits all over and then says “now I will check your waist” and lifts my top up and runs her hands on my skin around my back and belly. I wait like a naughty child to be told I’ve seriously over eaten and I’m to lose four kilos. I’m ready to point the finger at Zarko and Mirjana who are watching in the distance. She asks to see the soles of my feet and then says I may go. My bag has come through but the guy is waiting with my bag. He says he will have to check it and proceeds to empty it. He’s searching all the little pockets and seams. I remember at last nights dinner as we get into the car that Zarko tells us the Mafia were there. What did you say Zarko? Amazing but apparently true. They recognised the guy and sometimes have dealings with them with property valuations. They are no problem to deal with Zarko tells us. “They always pay on time and in full. Just don’t ask them how they made their first ten million” he muses. We laughed because when the family looked at our passports on Brac everybody was in hysterics. I look like the mafia they tell me, and it’s true.

The lady at passport photos kept saying don’t smile, don’t smile and each time I made my face more and more sour and there I am in my passport looking angry and very mafia like. Hmmm maybe these airport staff looked at my passport and decided they’d give me the once over just in case. ” what are looking for?” I ask as nicely as I can making sure I don’t smile. These people look like they must’ve been slapped around in their training to make sure they don’t smile while talking to people. “A knife”he says. “A knife? I don’t have a knife”. “You have something sharp” he insists. I then wonder if my tweezers would look like a little knife on X-ray and I pull them out. He takes it over to the X ray person and brings them back and says gruffly” ok, you can go”

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