Things don’t always go as planned when you are traveling. My journey from Italy to Albania was one of those times when everything that could go wrong did. This is a story of how I spent two nights without a bed, missed my ferry, got sexually harassed by the men working in a harbour, spent my night locked inside a ferry terminal, broke into an office, accidentally started working at an information desk and got wasted on a ferry with five Kosovan guys.
This is the second part of the story. Read the first part here!
After I Had Broken into the Office
So I opened the door and entered the dark office room. I immediately felt warmer, and I sat on the first office chair I saw. I tried to get some sleep because it was already 4 am and I hadn’t slept at all. However, there were windows facing the middle part of the terminal, so if someone was going to come to the terminal, they would see me sleeping inside the office. I didn’t want to get caught, so I had to be careful. I had, after all, broke into this room. I leaned my head on the desk and tried to get some sleep.
I didn’t have time to sleep because just after a while someone came into the terminal and put all the lights on. I felt it was better to leave the office. The doors were open again so I entered the middle section of the terminal and there was a security guard sitting on a chair. I introduced myself to him so that he wouldn’t wonder what the hell was I doing there. It was only 5:30 am, and the terminal was going to open at 7 am. He didn’t speak any English, but apparently, he didn’t care that I was there.
I spotted an information desk that wasn’t in use anymore, but there was a comfy office chair and a place to charge my phone. I went to sit there, leaned my head on the desk and fell asleep almost immediately. I was in a deep sleep when I heard someone knocking. First, I didn’t realize what was happening; I thought the voice was just a part of my dream.
Then I opened my eyes, and I saw a man standing in front of the desk. He was saying something to me, but I was still half-asleep, and I couldn’t understand a single word he was saying. It took me awhile, but I finally understood that he was asking about the tickets. Wait… Did he think that I was working here, I thought.
“I’m not working here but if you want to buy the tickets you have to take a shuttle bus to the ticket office.” I looked at my phone, it’ was 7 am. “But it’s too early now; the ticket office is going to open at 9 am. They only have one ferry to Albania. It’s an overnight ferry leaving at 10 pm.”
The man told me that he was Kosovar and he had just taken an overnight bus from Germany and wanted to take a ferry to Albania and then continue to Kosovo. I wasn’t really in a mood for small talk as I was still sleepy. Luckily, he left, and I tried to sleep again.
It didn’t take too long, and he was back again. “So are you traveling alone as well?” he asked. “Let’s leave your back in a luggage storage, and then we can grab a coffee!”
I was resistant at first. I didn’t know this guy at all, and after last night I didn’t want to be near men at all. But he just grabbed my backpack before I had time to say anything. Alright, I thought, I have nothing else to do, and I have to spend the whole day in Bari.
We ate some breakfast and went to the ticket office after that. This time there was a woman behind the desk, and I explained the whole situation to her. Luckily, I didn’t have to buy another ticket. She just changed the date for me and for my surprise she also did the check-in for me. At this point, I was sure that the guy from yesterday had no clue what he was going.
I spent the day with the Kosovar guy, and it turned out that he was alright. He told me that he was working in Germany, but his wife and children were living in Kosovo, so he was going to visit them.
How I Started to Work at an Information Desk
We were back at the terminal after 6 pm. I went straight back to the information desk, and I was happy to find out that the same comfortable chair was there. I tried to sleep, but after a while, there was a couple in front of the desk. They were asking me about the check-in. I couldn’t believe they were thinking that I was working there. This was a second time today.
Well, I had nothing else to do, and I also knew that the real workers there didn’t speak any English, so I explained to them where they could get a shuttle bus to the ticket office. Suddenly there were other people waiting to ask information from me. I didn’t bother to say that I wasn’t working there. I had spent two days in a harbor and I knew where everything was and how everything worked, so I thought to myself, why not share the information.
I spent two hours “working” at a desk and then went back to the Kosovar guy who was sitting in a waiting area. “You are unbelievable,” he told me when I got back. Yeah, a day ago I would’ve never guessed I would start a career here as an information desk worker.
How I Accidentally Got Wasted in the Ferry
We were the first persons on the line, so we made it to the ferry at 8 pm. I didn’t have a cabin so I knew that I would have to spend another night without a bed. We found a spot with sofas and made ourselves comfortable.
I went straight to the buffet and decided to take everything: pasta, salad, bread, drinks. I had only a couple of euros left, but I was sure that I could pay with my card. I made it to the cash register, and the guy there told me that they only accept cash. I started to put my things back, but he stopped me and said that it’s alright. I gave him all the coins I had, and he even gave me some of them back. I ended up getting 5€ discount! I think that he took pity on me; I must have looked exhausted and hungry.
I went back to my seat and found out that my new Kosovar friend had met fellow Kosovars, and four new Kosovars were sitting next to us. Everyone offered me food and drinks. First, we had some wine, then Limoncello, then whiskey… I wasn’t expecting this when I got onto the ferry, but sure I had a good time, and almost forgot the horrible experience I had had in Italy.
I was awake to see the sunrise and the first glimpse of Albania, and I took the picture above. I had had pretty bad experiences in Italy, but somehow things turned out good. I was thinking about that moment when I was locked inside the cold ferry terminal after I had got harassed and remembered how lonely and miserable I had felt. Now, I was happy to be here. I was happy that I’d met great people who were sincerely friendly and willing to help me. I would have felt so much worse arriving in Albania if I hadn’t met them.
Wish you were there at the information desk when I tried to find my way earlier this year at the Bari harbour. Can you imagine that there are self-check-in machines in the brand new ferry terminal in Durrës?
The Bari harbor is the worst place I’ve ever been to and their system is so complicated. They definitely need someone to work at the information desk! The terminal in Durrës looked so much nicer and Albanians are always willing to help you, which is so nice 🙂