In 2012 we went on a vacation like normal people would do. We had everything planned. We had a nice apartment, packed our stuff and started our journey at 8 o’clock in the morning. Our fantastic trip was shattered roughly around 9:30.
You see, I didn’t realize that my ID has expired in March. Our trip was in August, so I didn’t even had an excuse, I just forgot about it completely. If you live in the EU, you only need an ID to travel around other EU countries. Of course, they accept passports too, but at the time I didn’t have one. So of course we were stopped at the first border, Letenye. The Hungarian immigration officer asked for all the IDs, and we handed them out without a clue. He said my name and told me, that my ID expired. Well naturaly, I panicked. I gave him everything I had. My student ID card, my social security card, even my library card but he didn’t accept anything. He asked about our destination. And then, we lied. We knew he wouldn’t let us go through if he knew we still had three (!) borders to cross, so we said we’re going to Croatia. He went and talked to his Croatian colleague, if he would let us go. You see, they mostly don’t care about if you leave. They care about who is trying to get into the country. So we were really lucky, that the Croatian guy let us in. Then I took a deep breath, which I hold onto for the rest of the trip, because we still had three borders to cross. The next one was from Croatia to Bosnia Hercegovina, and then back from Bosnia Hercegovina to Croatia (there is like a 10 km stretch on the seaside, which belongs to Bosnia). So how to cross these, without being turned around? Luck, people, pure luck. At first we weren’t even stopped, because we were so obviusly tourists. We were only one border away from our goal, and nothing could stop us. Except of course an immigration officer. And it seemed like were out of luck. They stopped every car and searched through most of them. They stopped all the busses, and looking through everything thorough. We rolled to the window and gave our IDs (after shuffling them, to make it seem random). The young officer spent quite the time looking at each of them. He read out loud all of our names with a funny accent and concentrated on identifing everyone. And then, he said we can go. He never realized. We went really fast, so nobody will stop us, and it was kinda weird, because everybody around us was stopped and searched. And then I could let go of that one deep breath at last.
Oh yeah, and then I had to go back home without any papers too, but that is another story.