We left Osp around 8am since we knew we had a long drive to Hvar. It was going to be about 6 hours to Split and then we had a 2-hour ferry ride to the Island. We arrived at the Croatia border at 9am and pulled out our passports. Got stamped and moved to the next window. The police woman behind the glass asked for our passports again and then the papers for the car. We handed her our passports and then the insurance card from our international insurance. No, she said, the papers for the car. I went into glove compartment and pulled out the registration and handed it to Steve. She repeated that we needed valid papers and that what we gave her was not correct. We figured that she had just never seen them before and was confused. She pointed to the date and we realized that we had just handed her our expired registration and our current registration was not in the glove compartment. WTF! She told us to go to Customs and then pull over to the right into a parking area. We pulled forward 3 feet to a guy dressed as an officer. Steve:"Are you the customs officer?" Guy:"What?" Steve:"She (pointing back) told us to go to customs. Are you the customs guy?" Guy:"What?" Steve:"Are you customs?" Guy:"yes, go park"
He motioned for us to go and park. We parked and hurriedly searched every place where the document might be. We looked on the license plate and sure enough the sticker was valid but the registration was nowhere to be found. Another officer, male this time, approaches the vehicle.
Officer:"do you have anything to claim?" Steve:"No" Officer:"your car tested positive for substances. Do you smoke? Steve:"What do you mean?" Officer:"Our system shows that your vehicle has substances." Steve:"What?" Officer:"Your vehicle is positive for substances.Tell us now and we will charge you small fine but if dogs find more, you will be arrest." Steve:"What kind of substances?" Officer:"Your vehicle is positive for substances. Tell us now and you will be charged small fine." Steve went to the side door and pulled out his half empty bottle of Scotch and I pulled out the two packs of Indian cigarettes. Steve:"That is all we have." Officer:"We will bring dogs to search your car." Steve:"Okay, fine. Whatever you like. We don't have anything."
The officer then walked away and the female officer came back.
Officer:"You do not have papers for the car, so you must go back." Steve:"Okay, when we come back will you take a copy of our registration?" Officer:"No copy. Must be original." Steve:"Okay. Thank you."
The officer directed us into the opposite direction and boom, we were back in Slovenia.
Flustered and incredibly bummed, we began to drive back to Osp. We had no idea what to do at that moment; all we knew is that we needed Internet to get in touch with Steve's parents to see if the registration was back in our papers at home. At this point it was 11am, meaning that it was 2am in California, so there was really nothing that we could do now. We knew there was no Internet in Osp, so that wasn't an option. We figured that we could go to Lbuljana, the capital of Slovenia to the embassy but it was Saturday and they weren't open or we could go find Internet in the next closest city, Trieste, Italy. Proximity won out and we headed into the sinewy, matrix of Trieste centrale for a fruitless journey of Internet searching.
Still Not Psyched...
Alice, our trusty GPS, failed to bring us to the local bibliotheca. She took us instead to a church immediately outside the center of town; I guess she figured that we needed some angelic assistance. A waitress at a local cafe told us to that we could get free wifi at Terre de ropa...we pretended to understand her directions and we headed back into the matrix. As we began driving, Steve exclaimed "McDonalds", we had forgotten our trusty wifi connection in France and that all claimed that the golden arches would always provide free wifi. We plugged in McD's to Alice and she began directing us...to the middle of a highway! Yet upon our arrival to Alice's bunk destination, we looked over and saw a large sign Torri d'Europa. We quickly realized that this was the place that the waitress was talking about all along...we found a parking lot a few blocks away from the sign. It was a mall but supposedly it had free wifi, so we just did not care. At this point it was about 2pm and we knew that we just needed some info. We tried to sign on but to no avail we saw there was a McD's on the 3rd floor but again, no internet there. It looked like the supposed "free wifi" was bullshit. I decided to ask the people at the Vodafone store; I figured that they would know. They told us to go to the 3rd floor, near the cinema and that we should be able to log on from there. We walked back up to the 3rd floor; there seemed to be free internet but We could not figure out how to log on, as a Userid and password were necessary. We headed back down and I stopped back in the Vodafone store and explained that it still didn't work (using broken English and hand gesticulations with a couple of Si, Si's and Grazi, Grazi's thrown in). I think that they felt bad for me; one went into the back with my iPad and typed in a Userid and password for their network, the network in the Vodafone store. That is what we used for our Internet for 90% of our time here. Torri d'Europa became a second home for us in Trieste.
We found a campsite, the local climbing crag here in Trieste and contacted Steve's folks with the unfortunate news and the hope that the registration was indeed in our important documents box and was truly left by accident...