Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stress and Other Lovely Things

So I made a biiiiiig stuff up.

Basically my money this trip has been a cashpasport, which is like a credit card preloaded with whatever currency you want. It is, thankfully, reloadable.

The other day i checked the balance to find I had 80euros left, plus about 250euros cash. So, calmly, I emptied the rest of my Australian bank account onto my cash passport. A sum of about 970AUD.

In the mean time, I had my sister's spare cash passport, which she'd left me in case I ran out of money. As you well know, I did run out of money, and have been using my sister's card while i wait for money to magically appear on mine. Now, yesterday, I started to worry. It should take 5 days for money to come through, yesterday made it 6. Today, I felt sure the money would be there. It wasn't. I started to panic.

I decided to check online in case it had miraculously appeared in the last 20min. It hadn't. Not good. Then came major panic. I realised I hadn't even checked if the previous money transfer had come through, so I checked my transactions. Luckily it had, which meant I didn't have $1450 floating around in travelex limbo. So I thought, why don't I check the source- my bank account.

Here's where things got bad. And I mean actually bad, not panic and paranoia inside my own head bad. The money was there, sitting in my bank account, smiling smugly at me. That number seemed to taunt me. It said "hey look, I guess you forgot to confirm the BPAY and now you're in Europe with no money. You could do the BPAY again, but by the time it gets through, you'll be home anyway."

Oh. Fuck.

At first I was simply annoyed because I don't enjoy spending other peoples money and I certainly don't enjoy making dumb mistakes. I had plans for my money when it came through. They involved schnaps, all the flavours of Rittersport chocolate I could find, and awesome German DVDs, as well as a few trips to H&M and my new favourite store, Monki. But no. Now there's only money for NECCESSITIES. Like food and a bed to sleep in.

Things then got worse. I informed my sister of the situation, mostly so she could laugh at me and to warn her that I might just empty her cash passport. She tried to ring me, my phone died. She facebooked me. I just read it then, about 30min ago. And what did it say, I hear you breathe in anticipation? That, apparently, I've spent almost all of her money and, apparently, she's not sure if there'll be enough to get me a bed to sleep in. Not good at all. Also, apparently I should only use it for food, which means she thinks food is more important, even though you can scab free food in hostel kitchens and I'd rather be hungry than sleeping next to a drunk homeless guy? Twisted logic. Nothing beats the "I can't afford to eat because I fucked up and I'm thousands of kilometres away from home but at least the plane food is free!" diet.
Not good indeed. Now, accomodation aside, there is a sliiiiiightly more pressing issue at hand. I'm in Hamburg. My flight leaves from Frankfurt. I couldn't tell you how long it would take to walk that far. The train is 110euros. Panic indeed.

Thanks to some advice from a friend who's currently living in Germany (in the South unfortunately, if he was up here maybe we could road trip it to Frankfurt together) I did a bit of research. First, he put me onto a hitch hiking website. Yes, you pay to hitch hike. It's about 25euros, which is obviously a lot cheaper. Then again, looking at the luck I've had in Europe, I'd probably end up dead in a ditch somewhere. Or it could be like Eurotrip and I'd end up in Bratislava. So, after battling with temptation and a strange desire for reckless spontaneity, I let that idea go. Too risky for a lone female traveller. If I were a freak rapist/murderer I'd probably register for a site like that. You get paid to murder backpackers! Win!

Then, I looked at the trains again. And discovered that at some times of day, the train is only 88euros. 22euros saving is 22 euros saving. Things were looking up. Then, the aforementioned friend found a flight at about 6am for 65euros. Not too shabby, but I'd have to get up at 6am, which, let's be honest, isn't worth 20euros.

Losing hope, resigning myself to my 88euro train ride which hopefully I would have enough for, I made a last ditch attempt at money saving. Buses. Now I've looked at buses before and most of the time, they don't exist. But this time I found one! If I'd known about it a week ago, I could have booked it and only paid 9euros but as it is I didn't at it will cost 45. Basically half of what the train will cost. AND it leaves tomorrow night at 10pm, and gets into Frankfurt at 5:30am, which means I don't need accomodation for that night, which is an extra 20euro saving for me if I can cancel my booking later. So it went from 110euros plus 20 for the hostel, to only being 45! Which means I have an extra 85 euros to hopefully make the difference between running out and not running out.

On the plus side, I won't spend my melbourne cup outfit money, because I can't. And I owed my sister like a bajillion dollars anyway so what's another few hundred? Ooh I'd hate to see her credit rating right now. Love you Steph! :)

-m xx


  1. OOOH another positive! I need a post-Europe diet anyway so why not start now? No food till I get on the plane woo! I may pass out, but at least thatll be a good nights sleep :)
    Slash I think I'll see what free food I can gather up from the hostel kitchen tomorrow. And how much maccas I can eat in 3 days.

  2. Damn. Any guesses as to how much you've spent on your trip entirely? Including money that isn't yours. Wish I could help ya out somehow, I feel bad.