Today I suffered a 'traveller incident' - the kind of thing that I've always been secretly proud of having avoided to this point. Ok, well there was the time when I lost my passport and tickets home, but that was a newbie mistake. I also got pickpocketed on the Rome Metro once, but that was entirely my fault and I didn't really begrudge it to a little boy that was mesmerising me with his eyes while patting my leg (and secretly stealing my Euro's).
Today I lost my beloved Ray Bans and have no idea when, or how. I was sitting on the train to Vienna, was dazzled by a blast of sun and went to put my sunnies over my eyes from their usual resting place on the top of my head. I found only a disconcertingly empty space. After checking thoroughly through the bags, I surprised our four Italian co-passengers by explaining, in Italian, that I'd lost my sunglasses. In typical Italian fashion they got right into it, checking under and behind the seats, but we found only the usual 'behind the seat' nasties. I'm more than upset. They were my first sunglasses ever, super expensive, that my mum bought me for my birthday right after I had Lasik.
Having sadly determined that my Ray Bans were not hiding out in some corner of my bag, the first mission once we hit Vienna was to a) stop being a whiny wuss about it and b) go buy some cheaper but good-enough for my sensitive eyes sunglasses. I got Polaroids. They are not the same, but they are good enough. They cost 45 Euro (About $110) which is an unplanned chunk out of my travel budget, but I'm praying that I'll be able to make a travel insurance claim. I guess it's just one of those things that can happen. I would love to know where they went! I suspect they were pickpocketed out of my cargo pants pocket where I sometimes put them - for example, when buying tickets from a machine.
The day started with emergency repairs. In true blue kiwi fashion, The Programmer fixed the disintegrating handle of his trolley bag with string and tape (they didn't have any no. 8 wire at Tesco) and bought a pair of jandals to give his feet a rest from the flash new shoes which are eating his feet. My new sandals, bought the day before we left, are finally being broken in, rather than breaking me, but I had to do that uncool traveller thing of wearing my socks with them yesterday to keep the blisters at bay. I looked around in the museum and located many other tourists doing the same thing. Today they seem to be coming to a point of comfort. While he was fixing the bag, I was making the awesome discovery that my phone was successfully roaming and started texting like a mad thing. Unfortunately, as soon as we entered Austria, it became unresponsive. Vodafone works in the Czech Republic but not Austria? Sigh... why does this not surprise me?
We got into Vienna about 3.30pm, located the hostel without getting lost (a small miracle), orientated ourselves on the underground, which is called the 'U' in Vienna, bought sunglasses, and wandered off to be wowed by enormous buildings. I did find Mozart, or at least a statue of him and tonight I will read my Marco Polo guide book to decide what I need to discover tomorrow. We found a Meditteranean restaurant for dinner, grabbed a bottle of vino and headed back to the hostel to do some exciting essential stuff like.. laundry. You can't walk around Vienna smelling like last week. And, with that, I'd better go check the dryer. The machines are in hot demand and if I'm not vigilant, someone will turf my washing out and queue jump. All is fair in washing wars.
I tried to post some pics but I think the free hostel wi-fi does not allow uploading. Will try again in Budapest.