First week into the trip and the electronics already start to fail me. The magnet holding the charging cable of my phone in place gets loose, and the battery is draining rapidly because I used the phone for navigation while riding.
Luckily I have some sticky tape to keep the charger in place until I found a supermarket to buy some superglue. Stupid me not only glued the magnet back in place but also applied the glue all over the contacts so I had to spend the next 30 minutes scraping the glue off the contacts (and my fingers) to make the charger do what it is supposed to do. Remember: sticky tape, superglue and zip ties (as we learned last episode) are your friends and most important tools to take on a trip.
Shortly after the phone stopped charging again. So I searched for an electronics shop in the town of Karlovac to borrow a multimeter and figure out what the actual problem was. Turns out the adapter from cigarette lighter plug to USB stopped working. And, to my delight, the shop owner I borrowed the multimeter from and a customer there helped me to find a replacement. They did not only call another shop to ask if they had the required adapter, they also guided me to this place. With the help of those amazing locals I have a charging phone again and continued towards Banja Luka in Bosnia Hercegovina.
Some 20 km to the east of Banja Luka I searched for a campsite and found myself invited to the 1st birthday party of the campsite owner’s son. It was the first real balkan barbecue for me and it was amazing, grilled pork, lamb, potatoes and vegetables, as well as beer and rakia (balkan fruit brandy), lots of rakia. It was great speaking with all the people there, sometimes in english, sometimes in german (some of them were or have been working in Germany) while they paid very close attention that my glass was never empty (a balkan host does not tolerate an empty glass in the hands of their guests).
Needless to say, I had a terrible hangover the next morning. But instead of having a slow morning and curing the hangover with some fresh coffee, the police was waiting. For me! Because they suspected me to be a terrorist! I was registered at the local police office with my passport (a mandatory process which has to be done when a foreigner stays in a hotel or campsite or the like in some balkan countries) and the police was checking all unusual activities due to raised security measures because of a visit of the pope in Sarajevo. Apparently having an iranian visa made me a terroristic threat. Nothing I wanted to deal with at that moment and the particular state I was in. But it turned out to be a lot less drastic than expected. The policeman just asked where I’m going, what I was doing in Bosnia Hercegovina and so on, he was content with my answers (or just felt sorry for me and my hangover) and left soon after. Afterwards my hosts apologized for this treatment, although it was not their fault, and assured me they considered it totally inappropriate.
Finally I had some time for a slow morning and the actual hangover curing before hitting the road for Novi Sad in Serbia.