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“My gate is closed!!!”

First time on a solo travel; she met the “bugs from Hiroshima”; she realized that what you can do tomorrow, do it tomorrow... and that it is wise to be at the airport an hour before takeoff. Read about Dragana’s holidays in Fuerteventura that ended like in a James Bond film.

“It was first time for me. I went on holiday on my own. On the island that is located kilometers from my hometown, and it is almost on other continent - the Canary Islands. On Fuerteventura,” begins her story Dragana Ivanišević. We needed quite some time to meet, as she is fully occupied with the work, in addition she is instructor for group exercise; mainly specialized in yoga-pilates. She never runs out of words and she lives in Maribor long enough that her 'štajerščina' is really good. She wished to have this kind of holidays that combine leisure, relaxation, yoga and detox of the body for a long time. This year she gathered the courage “agreed with herself” and bought a flight ticket. The first one after eight years. In the program Fuerte Yoga she gained new knowledge as “Yoga is an ancient science and not just exercise. Miss Ursula Kodela, the Sirivanda yoga instructor, who is engaged in yoga for many years, decided to connect people who want to learn yoga and join the detox-yoga program that focuses on detoxication of the body and soul. It was coincidence that I bumped to this information and decided to just go,” explained Dragana while she was playing with the necklace that suited well with her elegant striped shirt.
6 hours of waiting at the airport
On September 3rd the story began. The first problem occurred when it was necessary to pack things in a small bag you can carry in cabin. “I've read all the tips in Globetrotter and browse the forums, as you go somewhere for the first time, you have no idea. I thought that 10 kilograms of luggage will be enough. I also mistakenly thought that one hour will be enough for packing. Ah yes, but when I saw a bunch of stuff on one side and a small suitcase on the other side … I realized this is not going to work. You know, what you start thinking: Oh, I'm gonna need this shirt, what if it rains... mainly nonsense was going through my head. When I finally stuffed 9.90 kilograms in suitcase I was, of course, in panic because I have nothing with me,” now with laughter explains Dragana.
In the middle of the night she sat in a taxi and drove to the airport in Milan. More they were approaching to the airport, the more it became clear that it was not necessary to be there 3 hours before the fight. Additional hours of waiting accumulated because the transporter has the option of ‘time window’. So, she was at the airport six hours too early. "Man! There is nothing to do for 6 hours! The driver told me that the shopping center is near, but hell, if it was not open. I was there in early morning hours. So I walked around the mall that I remembered after the fact that I was probably the only costumer that did not buy anything. There were so many beautiful things, but I could not buy anything because my suitcase was too full!"
Of course, in these 6 hours she managed to get through all the controls in time to get up on a plane and get comfortable, “like in the van”. But flight by plane is far from driving with the van, Dragana. “Jaooo, when we took off, what a pressure... If a man hasn’t flown for 8 years, it can be interesting experience,” she recalls adventure, which was re-awakened from a long forgotten past.
Geckos, few parrots and cockroaches
Finally, she arrived to Fuerteventura. On the first day she was wondering: “What now, let's do something, where is a beach, what about volcanoes, why are you are just sitting here?! Hello!?” If you spend a couple of minutes with here just drinking coffee it is obvious why. Even at the very conversation, where gestures are an indispensable companion, it becomes clear that she is full of energy. That shows in her speech, gestures, and character. Well, what she got in response from the locals? “Just calm down, Dragana.”
“Two weeks I spent in the villa, where rooms are on several floors and everything is easygoing, and so are the facilities. You can cook your own meals, in the morning and in the evening you have yoga, various detox smoothies, you talk a little with locals, and do whatever you want... In addition there are many houses where the Slovenian societies are, mostly young people who are engaged in surfing, renting rooms etc. Folk is friendly, all are relaxed. Our Primorska approximately times 8. On Fuerta they have the dictum that all you can do tomorrow, leave for tomorrow,” Dragana summarizes the atmosphere on Fuerta.
For the first couple of nights she was assigned a room in the basement and reassured with the words: “Everything here is really nice, nothing poisonous is growing here, there are no poisonous animals, so you have nothing to worry about. We have geckos, few parrots and cockroaches.”
Dragana was amazed: “What kind of cockroaches?”
“Ah, you'll see. They mostly come at night. Now that you're in the basement, it is best to put your suitcase somewhere up and close it so they cannot get lost between the clothes,” the residents of yoga-house replied.
“I tried to ignore the matter. However, after evening yoga I came into the room when I saw a shadow in the corner. It was a concrete shade. What is this? Fuck! This was not a bug! It was like it came from Hiroshima, with huge antennae and almost big as a hand. Disgusting! This is the beast, not a bug! How can someone get used to it?!” explains Dragana in outrage. Friendly locals ensured that you quickly accept the guests in the room without any problems.
I can imagine it's hard to sleep with a huge visitor in the room. Dragana had similar feelings, so she asked a neighbor from the other room if he can come and solve the problem. “He came and said that you just need to take a shoe, whack it and ... go on,” said Dragana while showing how it looked like. “He took my shoe and from a distance of a meter and a half started throwing shoe into the bug. Bug started racing all over the room.
I was puzzled: ‘What are you doing? Are you crazy?’
He says: ‘Yeah, that is how you have to do it, I cannot get closer.’
Ok, if there is only one, I'll survive, I thought. Then I opened my suitcase... Again, one sets of on my clothing, men! Well, anyway, I was reassured that they do not go after or on the people, just around them. And thank God, morning came soon.”
Fortunately, the next day she got another room. She was moved to the upper floor where there were no cockroaches. But, according to Dragana, by the end you really get used to it. “They are not cute, nor to look at, but they just are. Once in a while you see someone on the road with sneakers in his hand, hitting the floor and talking to himself: ‘Puta di Madre!’ Yes, cockroaches,” she adds in a laugh.
The whole holidays were relaxed, in search of herself, says Dragana. “If you do not res your body and soul on Fuerta, then I really do not know where you should go. The beaches are phenomenal; sand, mixed with pieces of cooled volcanic lava. You have wild beaches that are not populated. Everything is extremely relaxed. Even people. I did not surf or kayt, but that is also an option.” On the island it is a little windy all the time, but it is pleasant wind and temperatures are above 20 degrees. It rains only 6 days in a year, and “of course I bumped one of this rainy day.” The island won Dragana’s heart, she recommends holidays there to all generations. She pointed out that there is nothing toxic, even in water, because the islands are of volcanic origin. At Fuerta many Slovenians live who have sold their possessions and are now engaged in a kind of semi- tourism. Prices are like in Slovenia or even cheaper “pint of beer in a bar you get for only one euro.”
“The entire island is a bit 'high', as they are all smoking now and then. One afternoon I was invited to a pool party in one of the villas and I walked around the garden to see what they grow. There were flowers, cacti, aloe vera, and a little marihuana, paprika and again marihuana. There you can grow plants throughout the year, climate is ideal. Folk is easygoing, relaxed, really trying to make you feel good. However, they are not that fluent in English, but nevertheless you can talk out almost about everything.”
Gate closes at 9:55
The story would not be that interesting, if the return was not as tense as it was. People on the Canary Islands stick to the principle: “We are going to do it tomorrow, do not worry.” Airport was on another island Lanzarote and from Fuerta the first ferry ride was at 8:00. “Why get up earlier, it makes no sense. On weekdays the first ferry is at 7:40. That is really a huge difference. The first bus to the airport leaves at 9:00. You can order a taxi but they can be quite extortionate. Of course, I talked with my friends on Fuerta about my return. They assured me, I'll be there on time, and this is no such thing: “Make sure just to take the right bus. It won’t be a lot of time, yet you will be able to drink a coffee at the airport.” Flight back was at 10:25. Gate closed at 9:55. Now you see the difference - I went there 6 hours too early, but back we were talking about 5 minutes... no panic. So Dragana catches the ferry and get to the bus stop... but there is no one. I have, however, already booked and paid for accommodation in Bologna, because I had a flight there. So it started to worry me a little: 'What if I miss the flight, what will I do, should I take a taxi, I’ve already paid accommodation in Bologna, why...’”
In a minute she sees a bus, goes to the driver and asks: “Can I go with you to the airport?”
He answers: “Yes, just seat back and I will tell you.”
“Great,” she thinks, and find a seat somewhere in the back of the bus. A beautiful landscape passes by while they are driving. Phenomenal volcanoes, lush greenery. But 30 minutes goes by so quickly (that far the airport should be), while admiring so special and inspiring scenery. Now, she was told, she should see the aircrafts taking off and landing. But none of this was on the horizon. The time was already 9:38.
She gets up, heads to the driver, but he carelessly says: “I will tell you, seat back.” They are still driving on the road that runs between the volcanic rocks and fertile soil. Clock shows 9:45.
“My gate closes in 10 minutes,” somewhat impatiently thinks Dragana. She heads to the driver for the third time and he gently lifts up the voice and repeats angrily: “Seat back, I will tell you!”
She: “How much is to the airport? Because in a few minutes my gate will close.”
He: “What?! We have at the least 20 minutes! Shit, you need a taxi!”
She: “What! What the fuck ! I have to get on a plane! How else will I return home? Who do I need to call? I need money!” The wave of heat hit her face.
The driver spots a taxi, immediately sounds a trumpet and shouts: “The gate, the gate!” Dragana throws a suitcase to the taxi driver; he has already opened the trunk, sits on the back seat, moves restlessly back and forth, and repeats in Slovene language: “I’ll miss my plane. I'll miss my plane.”
Taxi driver embraced the situation and turned into a film hero Daniel Morales in the Gérard Pires movie Taxi. “The guy was driving in the opposite direction! If I would be with him in the vehicle now, I would die of fear. At that time I didn’t care,” still quite upset explains Dragana.
Driver askes: “When?”
She: “Not when, the gate is already closed!”
The time was 9:52. Then she remembered that the money was in a suitcase and a suitcase was in the trunk. “This is a waste of time! I do a plan: when he stops, I jump out, take my suitcase, give him 10 euros, passport, papers and ticket in my mouth... and race inside!”
Finally, she almost breaks into the airport. Despite the fact that she found everything right away she accompanied her spectacular entrance with loud shouting (now she admits she is a little bit embarrassed): “My gate is closed, my gate is closed.” Can you imagine? Women in panic pulling her over-loaded suitcase (she stuffed almost 15 kilograms in a case), waving with papers over her head in a place, where everyone is relaxed and accustomed to do things tomorrow, loudly screams almost in a tears that she will not catch an airplane?! What a scene for the locals and others who are standing in line to claim the luggage after a quiet relaxing vacation.
Customs – what?!
At the airports standard practice is that you cannot go on a plane without going through the inspection. “Now I should go through the security check?! What? I do not have time for this!” Of course she was jumping nervously and loudly prayed: “Please, I must go to my family, I must go to my baby! Ohhhh, my baby ...” There is probably no need to emphasize that she has no children.
Customs Officer: “Miss, you must calm down.”
She: “What calm down! I must go through!”
Customs Officer: “Give your phone and other things such as belt and similar into the plastic container.”
She: “I don’t have time for this!”
Customs Officer: “You need to calm down, miss.”
She: “I don’t have time! I need to get through.”
“Somehow they checked me; I do not know how they did it. Some things I do not even remember because I was thinking just that I need to get on the plane.” The time was already well over 10:00. This was it: “It is over,” she thought all desperate. But when she came through the control, everything was empty except... like the light at the end of the tunnel, in the distance appears the queue! The long queue of bored people was there, who reluctantly look at the watch and waiting anxiously to board. “The flight attendant was stretching and waving at me: ‘For Bologna, si, si!’ I've never been so happy to wait in the queue. Now I can go to the toilet, buy water. Yeeesssss.” Probably all that was left of the nervous drama was dried sweat on the forehead. When she finally sat down in her seat, the tears of joy appeared in her eyes and again she started talking to herself: “I made it! I'm on the plane! Yes, Bologna, here I come.” Considering the wild ride, the drama at the airport, astonished looks of the people and terrible thoughts she will have to spend the night at the airport, the strange grimaces of her neighbor on the plane were completely irrelevant.

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