Tuesday, 26 August 2008

To Vienna and beyond - part II (final)

Once I got into the train, I tried to get some sleep, but I couldn’t - the sun was already up, and I can never seem to sleep when there is day light. Anyways, I had some more 2 to 3 hours till Vienna.
In the middle of the trip - I don't know exactly why - I got kinda worried about my passport inside my purse: my purse is huge and it can't be properly closed, so it came to my mind that maybe would be better to have it closer to me, in my back pocket.
Ok: passport safely placed and baggage in hands, I jumped off the train in a sunny warm morning in Vienna. I went just across the big street in front of Westbanhof to search for some hostels I've searched on the internet, just before I left Belgrade. To my not-so-pleasant surprise, all the hostels were completely booked for the next few days. Damn!
Soon I realised I’d better get used to the idea of staying in a hotel: although hotels in Vienna - even the not so good ones - can be rather expensive, I was just gonna stay for a night, so I could handle paying some more for a hotel.

After I checked in at the hotel and left my stuff in my room, I went out for a walk in the centre of the city. So nice! Especially because, like I was "warned" by many of my friends here, Vienna is full of serbians. Literally everywhere I looked there was something mentioning Serbia in some way, or people speaking serbian all around me. So great!
The funniest thing ever was, actually, coming across Cafe Lepa Brena, hahaha. I couldn’t stop laughing and I had to get in. Inside the cafe, I was invited to seat with two very, very drunk guys, a viennese and a serbian. They thought I was serbian, and then they thought I was russian (like most everybody in Vienna seemed to think), and after some crazy conversation, I left Lepa Brena for some more walk - and a bratwurst hot dog, haha.

I then sat on an internet cafe for a quick emails checking. As soon as I got online, I was as happy as can be to see that Fecula didn't forget to send me the overture of the opera "Die Fledermaus" - as far back as I can remember, Fecu and I have this deal that, once we visited Vienna, we would have to do it listening to that overture! When I browsed my huge purse in search of my mp3, I realised something that made me freeze for an instant: my passport wasn't there. Immediately I remembered that I've changed its place to my back pocket. Phew... But when I decided to check my back pocket, just to confirm it was there, I froze again - and this time, not just for an instant: the passport wasn't in my pocket either!
I started getting seriously nervous, but on an attempt to calm myself down, I convinced myself that, "of course", I had left it in my hotel room.
I finished my online business calmly and drove myself back to the hotel, to take a quick shower, get dressed, and finally head to Ost Fest - the reason that took me till Vienna in the first place.

As soon as I reached the hotel and my room again, I completely turned the room upside down, trying to find my passport that wasn't there too. This time, for real, I started freaking out.
I decided to re-make my way through Vienna and stop and ask for the passport in the places I've been to, but nothing. Even at the station, the officer from the "lost and found" section told me that nobody found a passport and that, if they did find it anytime, they would call me at my hotel.
Back to the hotel I decided to call the embassy to see if I could manage to get a new one, urgently. Lucky as I am - yes, once one thing goes wrong with me, everything starts going wrong all together - the person in charge to issue passports for urgent cases like mine, was travelling to Ljubljana, took the keys of the passports' safe with him, and would only be back by monday. Brilliant. That meant that I'd have to wait at least more two nights in Vienna in order to get a new passport aaaand then, if I was lucky enough, one or two more nights waiting for a new serbian visa - that is, if I had the papers needed to get a visa again which, of course, I didn't.
F u c k i n g h e l l
I ran to the nearest police office and registered that I've lost my passport with and officer that, poor guy, couldn't understand almost any english, at all. Even so, he was much nicer than that bastard from the brazilian embassy and made his best to help me, registering everything and all.

I went back to the hotel completely crushed. When I got into my room again I was like a silly little kid moaning around "I want to go back to my Belgrade, I want Belgraaaade" and kinda sniffy and all. I then realised that, worse than not seeing Belgrade so soon, would be the huuuuge money I was gonna spend staying in Vienna for at least more 4 nights, not to mention the new passport and visa, that would take me away quite some money as well. That was when I completely freaked out - which led me to a huge nose bleed (yeah gross, I know, but whenever I get too freaking nervous, my nose bleeds like a river) after which I fell asleep like a stone, on the floor of my room.

I woke up with the bells of the church at 6 pm. For a few seconds, while still sleepy and not knowing exactly where I was (I could swear I was in Belgrade, haha), I thought the whole passport thing didn't happen for real. But as soon as I realised I was really in Vienna - and being so, without my passport - I felt completely devastated again. I started getting dressed up to go to Ost Fest although I wasn't really in the mood for party, at all. But while getting dressed I started getting used to the idea that there would be no way other than to wait to solve everything, and that would be no good to do it in such a bad mood. So I cheered up, took my things with me, and headed to the festival.

I decided to take a taxi, as I had no idea what so ever where Galopprennbahn Freudenau was. And of course the taxi driver had no idea as well. He asked one of his colleagues and it seemed one of them had a far idea of where could it be. We rode and rode, and I started getting worried when the taximeter reached 10 Euros – and we were not even close to find where the damn festival was. When it reached 11, god was probably already sorry for me and my wallet, and all of a sudden the taximeter stopped working! The driver apologized about it and also for not knowing where the place I wanted to go was, and said the no matter how long it took us to get there, it wouldn’t be more than 10 Euros (a taxi driver would never be that nice in Brazil…) .

Anyways, after more than 20 minutes riding around Vienna, we finally found the place, with a huge display of Ost Fest and all. I couldn’t help but smiling from cheek to cheek – the driver even said I had a “luminous smile” haha. I wish…

Getting to the entrance, I felt really VIP when I was told my name was actually on two guest lists: Kosta’s and Milan and Uroš’s. With my backstage passes on my wrist, I got into the 'venue': a huuuuge open air arena for horse races, completely packed with people, with the big stage far ahead, lots of beer and doner (\o/) kiosks all around and Max Pashm and his crew onstage – how great was that??? I mean, a huge festival entirely dedicated to balkan beats and packed with people, with one of my favourite DJs ever playing the tunes I love!!!

As I was approaching the stage, Kosta called me and I headed to the backstage area to meet him. Seeing Kostovinski is always soooo great! Last time we were together was in Rio, in early june, at my “Go East” party. Kosta is, for me, like an older brother, so of course I was missing him a whole lot (yeah, if you read this Kosta, know that you truly are like an older brother to me :)))))
Kosta had to rush though, as he was the next one to go onstage after Mr. Pashm.

Right after that I came across Milan and some of his friends from Slovenia, really cool people.

Kosta’s DJ set was, as always, brilliant. And right after him came Balkan Beat Box: what a b r i l l i a n t concert they did! They managed to be even better than on their recordings, which is usually pretty hard for any band with lots of electronics. New Order, for example, sucks live, although they’re by far my favourite (studio) band ever. And come on, it’s New Order, they even have the right to suck live, haha. But nevermind them.

Back to Ost Fest, I had a quick first meeting with Penny Metal, another greeeat DJ that I always wanted to meet. Lovely funny person, and such a great DJ! She’s known for her big eastern European vinyls collection and her crazy eastern blok ska and traditional music DJ sets, haha.

Come to ska, after Balkan Beat Box left the main stage, Russkaja – a Russian ska band, based in Vienna – took the stage, and made a fantastic concert too.

At this point the night started getting kinda chilly and very windy, what took me (and my short pants) to go inside the club, where Kosta, Penny Metal, Shazalakazoo and the guys from Balkanika were setting one blast of a party, with “DJ duels” and all!

I stayed at the indoor party till 6am, when the festival ended. I shared a taxi back to “civilization” with Kosta, Penny Metal and an Australian guy called Nick, if I well remember. Really nice fellow too.

When I left them at their hotel and started heading to mine, alone in the cab, all the fun was over: I started thinking about the passport and visa issue again, and started planning, in my mind, what I would have to do: look for a cheaper hotel, tell my family in Brazil what happened, call the embassy, call Serbia, call Brazil… I entered the hotel and went to the reception, head down and all, when the receptionist gave me the keys to my room and my passport. My… pass… port! Ahhhhhh my passport!!!

I guess I exclaimed “Oh my god” one hundred thousand times, on every single language I could possibly remember hahaha. And I kissed my passport, and the receptionist, and thanked as much as I could. She told me that the police found it at the station and brought it to the hotel, during the night. How I love the Viennese police, haha.

I ran to my room jumping around, and I wasn’t even drunk! Packed my things and left everything ready to, after a short 4 hours of sleep, check out the hotel, go for a walk around the city and then, at 7:49 pm, finally catch my train back to Belgrade.

Vienna was brighter for me (and my passport!) during my last few hours in the city. Even though the sun of the day before was gone and a wind chill was bringing the temperature down (around 14 degrees), there was no bad weather for me while I had 3 cups of Earl Gray tea in one of the open air cafes in Mariahilferstrasse.

After 10 to 11 hours traveling on the train back – with two really cool Bulgarian girls and 3 old Romanian guys – I finally reached Belgrade, on a chilly morning. But again, there’s no bad weather when we’re where we really want to be :)

Milan says “nobody loves austrian policemen”

Well… I do, haha


pedreco said...

Devojko, kakav PERRENGUE!

Maria said...

Ej bre, e poe perrengue nisso, hahaha

Adam said...

Hey Maria,

Wow! What an adventure that was! I can't imagine the panic of not being able to find my passport whilst in a foreign country.

It was really lucky you got it back, and welcome back to Belgrade! :-)

Maria said...

Hey Adam,

Yeah, I just couldn't believe it when I had it back! Big, big luck!

And thanks! :)