So, we took Ljilja to Zagreb on Tuesday (my birthday) to fly out early on Wednesday for the US. Dragana came along to keep me company on the way back... So the adventure started on the way there when it was rainy and stormy on the road, but once we got into Zagreb, the heavens OPENED and we were caught in torrential rain (and got lost because we turned too early as I couldn't see!). So, my grande plans for having a meal out (albeit at McDonald's - it is a treat for us as there is NO McDonalds in Bosnia!) were dashed! We just hung out at Juliana's place (although she wasn't there due to some interesting circumstances -long story!) and ordered pizza from a random place we picked from the trash - which was great pizza, but it took one hour and 45 minutes to be delivered!!!
Then in the morning, we got to the airport no problem and Ljilja got all her luggage on for free (a big worry as she despite having a huge luggage allowance was still overweight - all presents!). She got off okay (sniff sniff) and then Adventure part two began - the paying of the parking. The machine swallowed 2Kuna of my change (and I only had exactly the right amount!) and so I went to complain and by the time I got there we were now into the next hour and I had to pay DOUBLE (which I wasn't about to do). And crying and performing was not helping - the guy would NOT budge. Eventually I told him that he needed to call his boss as I was not putting up with him and he gave in and let me just pay the 15Kuna (well 13Kuna as the machine had swallowed the 2Kuna)!! But man I was not happy! (and I really went with the intention to be nice and polite, but he was not helpful to my cause at all)
By now we just wanted to get home...(a 2 1/2-3 hour trip) but Adventure part two and a half was not about to let us... We got to the border with Croatia at Gradiska at 9.30 and got through nice and easily. On the Bosnian side they asked us to pull over because the guy wasn't sure about my South African passport and needed to call his colleague. So we pulled over and fatally, I turned the car off. When I tried to start it, it wouldn't! I need to explain that my fuel gauge has been broken (despite one attempt to fix it) for the past month, and so I have been keeping the tank nearly full so I don't run out. But of course the border guards see two blondes in a car and a petrol gauge on empty and say "aha-you have run out of petrol..." when we hadn't... Anyway, they pushed us out to the side and I was calling Mirko (one of the guys in our fellowship who lives in Gradiska) but he wasn't in town, when one of the border guards comes up and says "can I try?". So I give him the keys and the car starts for HIM!!! (how embarrassing!)
But I decide maybe we have used up more petrol than I think, so we went to a petrol station just outside of Gradiska. Of course you have to stop your car to be able to fill it up (and we hadn't used up that much petrol so that wasn't the problem!) and when we tried to start it up, it wouldn't again. Dragana and I decided to go for coffee and wait to see if the car would start later (like it did the last time), but that didn't work!!!
So we had to get towed (and PTL that we were already on the Bosnian side of the border and not on the Croatian side - that would have been very tricky and MUCH more expensive!) to a nearby auto mechanic. The guy was really nice and he managed to fix the car - it was the fuel pump (and he also fixed the fuel gauge which is found inside the fuel pump) and after "only" 2 hours Dragana and I were on our way again...
Ljilja joked when she heard about it that she almost got to America before we got back to Banja Luka!! (she arrived safely and is having a great time there so far!!)