The two guys on reception at the Hostel Old Town in Kotor, Montenegro are a comedy duo. Everything they do involves a joke.
“Can I stay for another night?” I say.
“No, not on a Sunday!” says one.
“Three hundred euros!” says the other.
“OK, OK, you can stay for two extra nights, two extra,” says the first holding up two fingers like the sign for victory.
“Samo još jedna noć!” I finally say, in his language.
“Oh, ho, ho!” says comedy duo number two, seemingly signifying I’ve had a win.
Finally we agree on 10 euros plus 1 euro city tax, as prescribed by their website, and I’ve booked my second night. But for now it is my first day.
Danilo, a comedy duo member, gives me a map and a pretty thorough overview of what to see in the city. I go upstairs and immediately lose said map. I go back downstairs and Danilo kindly gives me a new map and a new overview, complete with new marker points and squiggles on important sights.
Instead of hiking up the hill to the fortress and beyond -because I got away late and I’m afraid I’ll lose the light- I decide to go to the fish restaurant called Skala Santa which Danilo recommends, where about 5 other people from the hostel are already eating. I get talking to two Aussies who are cycling (and I’m not exaggerating here) from Melbourne to Edinburgh. I eat a delicious fish stew called brodet while feeding a few morsels to the cute, mangy ginger cat who’s prowling around the table legs (Janko, his name is, although I was hoping for Đumbir, which is the word for ginger in Croatian).
Having left and walked around town for a bit I realise I’ve left my brand new map on the table of the restaurant! “Damnit” I think, and go back to ask the konobar if they still have my new map.
“Ostala sam moju mapu na stolu!” I exclaim to the very nice waiter.
I’m taken by surprise by Danilo who turns around from the table where he is now eating his own lunch and says “Did you lose another map?!”
The waiter disappears and Danilo explains that he’s gone back to the hostel to retrieve me yet another map!
“Ja ću ćuvati ovo,” – I’ll look after this one – I tell the very nice waiter.