Friday, 1 April 2016

One Bjorn Every Minute

There is always one story that just makes you laugh ....

Croatia is one the edge of Europe's 'wild west', the Balkans. Therefore its always a case of 'buyer beware' when you enter that region as the laws may not always be what you expect .... they also often kind of favour the locals!

So I wasn't surprised but was amused when I read the tale of two Norwegian tourists (whom I am guessing were males), who came a cropper in the murkier backwaters of that land.

Oldest Bar Scam In The World?

They were visiting Hvar island off the Croatian coast, and were in Hvar Town (a rather glitzy place being promoted as the new St Tropez). However all this local scenery and richer clientèle was apparently not enough to while away the evening and they decided (or were enticed), to visit a local strip joint.

Now at this point I had already got my alarm bells ringing because as an experienced European traveller I have come across most of the attempted scams - from the selling of 'pearl' mussels in a bucket, through overpriced 'spongie naturales' (sea water sponges sold at a thousand time their weight in gold), fisherman sea cruises, to 'hostess drinks' ... a favourite scam of clip joints the world over.

However our eponymous Viking heroes were apparently not aware of this last one (something their forefathers would have known about from their time in the Byzantine Empire), and went into the club .... buying a number of drinks on a bar tab (another mistake if you are not familiar with bars in that apart of the world and especially a sex establishment).

Anyway, no doubt they had a delightful time with the ladies who joined them, and who ordered premium wines. But all good things must come to an end, and they prepared to leave and were presented with 'the bill'. That's when the trouble started ......

The original bill for the drinks consumed was reported as being between EUR 40,000 and EUR 35,000 but I settled on £20,000 .... yes, EUR 25,310 or more relevantly K24,0333 Norwegian Krone (like us they are not in the Euro). Now even though beer in Norway is expensive at £6 plus a pint (in a super market ... more in a pub), these boys suddenly realised that they were in deep trouble.

An argument started (and knowing this region), some very muscular and shaven headed gentlemen (from the 'management'), will have quickly appeared. Whether fists were employed first is not covered but the Norwegians then discovered that they 'weren't in Kansas' anymore when one of 'the management' pulled out a Taser gun, and threatened to blast the bejesus out of the Norwegians (some accounts say they were actually tasered).

After being made to hand over their wallets, £10,000 was allegedly withdrawn from their accounts to pay for around half of the huge bar tab, before management let them go. The boys staggered out and reported the incident to police, who arrested the bar’s owner who is under police custody, to stop him 'influencing witnesses' (with a taser we presume).

The two gentlemen will have no doubt been relieved .... but I doubt they got all the £10,000 stolen back, but whatever, they learnt one life lesson that more people should be aware of ...East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet.


  1. Enjoyed the pun in the title. The story is OK as well.


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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....