Love or Money

It was a Thursday evening; I was about to book my flight to Belgrade. I typed “cheap flights” into Google. The first website: ‘Sounds ok,’ I thought as I booked a flight that perfectly matched my schedule. I was to leave at 6:25 on Wednesday, returning to Vienna at 16:35 Tuesday afternoon.

I was desperate to get to Belgrade. Just two weeks earlier, I had met a wonderful guy and lost my head a bit. So I wanted as many hours at home as possible to, you know, check things out. This was all working out fine: the exact flight I needed. Couldn’t have turned out better.

Friday afternoon, I received an e-mail. There was a problem with the booking. As I had paid with a friend’s credit card, I would have to send them photocopies of her card, and passport. Oh well, whatever. I did as asked.

On Tuesday evening I got home at around 23:00, enthusiastic and ready to stay awake until four, when I would head to the airport. My routine last e-mail check, and … surprise! A mail from My reservation did not go through. Frantic, I called the agency; All they ‘could’ say was “Unser Fehler ist es nicht.” The fault of the airline…

So there I was, six hours before flighttime, half-packed, with no ticket, no money, desperate and frustrated, sitting in the corner of my bedroom, cursing everyone from the person who invented online payments to the one who designed the airplane. Thank God for my uncle who happens to live in Vienna, and is well versed in last-minute options. I’d lost a precious 12 hours – half a day – and who knows what opportunities. But at last I was on my way.

So I’ve just landed in Belgrade, collected my bags and walked out through customs, trying not to think about how tired I am. I pass a newsstand, a bakery, a flower shop, and tourist information – when something catches my eye. I grab a copy of the InterCity timetable.

Next time, I’m taking the train.

    -Bojana Simeunovic

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