An exhausting night and a long way behind I walked through the city of Rijeka and tried to find an Internet cafe to see if there are any news from my host. I found one after a while and also got a message on couchsurfing.
It was from my host Vedran and he told me that he's going to be back home from work at about five o'clock in the afternoon.
As I was kind of tired because I've only slept for about an hour the night before and the couchsurfers place was located south from Rijeka, I decided to take a bus. (If you are wondering why it matters that it was south of Rijeka read about the hitch-hiking from Antalya back to my hometown challenge .)
Fastly I found out which one goes to Kraljevica and asked my way through the city to the bus station.
When I arrived I saw a middle-aged women standing there together with a guy who was obviously blind. She was a very talk-active person and when she saw me she asked where I was going to and where I was coming from. I told her that this is a longer story but gave her a short summary of the last six month anyway.
The blind guy couldn't speak English but he noticed that we were having a nice conversation and said something in Croatian. The woman translated that he was offering me to enter the bus together with him- like this nobody would ask me to pay for it.
I said that it sounds like a great plan but told them that I'm wondering what the bus driver will say if he leaves the bus before. The blind guy said that he actually wanted to leave the bus one stop earlier and said that I'm right. He made one call and at the same time the women added that he's going to get out at my stop.
So while entering the bus Domme the blind guy hold my shoulder with one hand and pretended that I was leading him. I unnecessarily helped him to sit down and took the seat next to him. The driver didn't really look like he was buying it but anyway I could enter without a problem.
On the way we couldn't really talk but fortunately I already learned "Thank you" in Croatian.... in fact I appreciated more for the amazing gesture and for the story I will have to tell than for the 30 Kuna I spared.
Well, the story isn't over yet so while we were driving along the small coast road I didn't really know where we are and when exactly we are going to arrive in Kraljevica.
I was thinking about what to do... I couldn't ask the bus driver because he was already suspicious and I should better not talk to him. I also couldn't communicate with Domme and was wondering if he would know where to get out.
There were also a few older people sitting around who probably wouldn't speak English but just while I was still not sure what to do the blind guy suddenly got up and shouted "Oliver, Oliver! Here! Come! Come!" I jumped up took my backpack and HE led ME out of the bus. A bit gobsmacked I was standing on the road with him and another guy arrived.
He also couldn't speak English but they both wanted to find out where I was going to and how they can help me...and there seemed to be nothing to stop them! I tried to explain that I just have to wait because I was too early, but they didn't understand. I showed the piece of paper with the address and number of my host to the other guy and attempted to make clear that I will stay at "a friends" house. He didn't pay much attention to it and signalized me to follow him into a nearby shop. On the way I tried to find out the exact time and pointed on my arm and said "time?".
Totally perplexed I recognized that he had a special watch and "felt" the time with his finger. He was also blind! I couldn't believe my eyes because he was walking around without a stick, he was acting without any limitations- I mean: He was picking up another blind guy from the bus station!
A bit confused I followed them into the shop and the woman in there forced me to use her mobile phone. Again I tried to explain that I will have to wait for about two hours until my contact will be available but also when somebody entered the shop and translated for them they still wanted me to make that call. Well honestly it made things a lot easier because all I had to do after it was waiting with an ice-cream in my hand until Vedran would come and pick me up...but like this I missed the fun of finding his house on my own! ;-)
Becoming sleepy more and more but also still astonished at what just happened I appreciated to everybody who was helping me out so nicely and finally sat down on a nearby bench.
...As if all of this wouldn't have been enough I suddenly realized that I've been stuck exactly at the same place two years ago when I was hitchhiking from Germany to Croatia and back with a friend of mine....
Later, after I told Vedran about it he said that the guy who picked up Domme was in fact completely blind and that he also didn't realize it during the first few years he was living at this place.
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