Aurora Santoro details her Croatian holiday disaster from hell
I do not know if any of you believe in curses, but if you don’t, by the end of this article you will probably have changed your mind. In Italy, we are so superstitious that we have a particular curse you can cast (and not so easily get rid of) which brings bad luck. It’s called ‘Malocchio’ – evil eye in English. Now that we have established where my extremely bad luck comes from, I must tell you that I am well accustomed to literally anything that can go wrong during a holiday, from losing my luggage, to missing flights. That is why every time I am away, Murphy’s law is the one thing I constantly keep in mind: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong."
This year I broke every existing record. I decided to treat myself to an all-expenses paid vacation - meaning embarking on my family's annual holiday. The selected destination was Croatia, and we decided to drag my little sister’s best friend’s family on this adventure as well. Everything was planned to be ‘evil eye-proof’: the weather was forecast to be hot and sunny for the whole week, we made sure that the apartment we booked actually existed, and all the passports were carefully prepared and positioned on the table.
Every time I am away, Murphy’s law is the only thing I constantly keep in mind: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
We all agreed that the cheapest way to reach Rijeka was by car, so in order to get there in time for the check-in in the morning, we had to leave in the middle of the night. Deciding it was pointless to sleep just for a couple of hours; my parents started loading up the car while I was finishing up double checking that everything was in order. That is when I noticed my sister’s passport missing. Bursting into tears she told me that when she was about to put it on the table she noticed that it had expired. Scoffing, I double-checked the expiration date. Not that I don’t trust my sister, but what are the chances?
Chances were that her passport had expired in December last year. Panic. Laughing maniacally, I decided to go tell my parents and after half an hour of crying, screaming, and shouting, we decided to leave anyway. The plan was pretty simple: we wouldn’t tell anything to the other family and ensure they crossed the border first. My dad smudged the date on my sister’s passport hoping this would solve everything, and my sister brought some weird yellow rock that was supposed to bring us luck.
Chances were that her passport had expired in December last year. Panic.
This 8-hour hellish journey seemed to have no end but, after what felt like an eternity, we finally arrived at the border and as planned, the other family were right in front of us. They successfully passed through. We got to the officer and my dad handed him all of our purposefully messy passports. He looked at us, then at the car. All the while my sister was cutting through my hand with her nails. “Are you Italian?” My dad nodded. The officer handed him the passports back without even looking at them and let us cross. It’s enough to say that that set the mood for the holiday; however the cloudy weather and rain for the whole week soon put us back in our place.
I walked over to one of the waiters and told them about my booking. Turns out that there were three restaurants in the city with the same name, and we had booked the wrong one.
After six days of incessant rain, the weather finally gave us a break. To celebrate, we decided to go out for dinner. After an afternoon of trying to find a gluten-free place, I found a gorgeous five-star restaurant by the seaside but couldn’t reach them by phone. Their number was non-existent. However, my mum did some digging and managed to find what seemed to be their current number.
We got ready and arrived at the restaurant half an hour early, so I walked over to one of the waiters and told them about my booking. Turns out that there were three restaurants in the city with the same name, and we had booked the wrong one. After a twenty-minute walk we managed to find our way to what seemed like a family restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Everyone got their order except for me and my mum; ours arrived half an hour later than the rest but fed up with the day, we decided to eat and leave.
Despite eventually finding our way back to the car after getting lost, we headed home quite disappointed. Just after we got onto the highway, driving right behind a truck, some little weird-looking white animals started appearing out of nowhere. My dad did his best to skew around them, but we were all confused wondering what those things were and where they came from. After another twenty minutes of avoiding these things, we realised that the truck in front of us was transporting chickens and apparently had left one of the cages open. There were literally live chickens flying out of that truck splashing into the road. Needless to say, everybody got sick that night after eating at that restaurant, showing ‘Malocchio’ in full force!