Two Slovenian Grandmothers vs One Sweaty Canadian: The Battle of the Sweater

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For anyone that’s been following along, you know by now that public transportation and I are not the best of friends. I have a nasty habit missing (or taking the wrong) busses and trains. And let’s not forget planes. I’ve missed a couple of those too.

Needless to say, I’ve tried to be a little better at keeping track of my schedule because, on top of being late and mixing up days, I also am very good at getting lost. This, of course, leads to missing more things… it’s a tricky circle and trust me when I say, it’s a really bad (and expensive) habit.

So when I was in Ljubljana, Slovenia, staying at a hostel an solid 25 minute walk from the train and bus station, you can bet I left early to catch my bus to Venice.

Downtown Ljubljana quiet in the early morning

Downtown Ljubljana quiet in the early morning

Or at least I thought I did. Until I got distracted by how pretty the castle looked in the early morning and stopped to take pictures. And then figured I would probably want a snack and a drink for my upcoming trip, so joined the line to grab something at the little café. But of course the clock kept ticking and next thing I knew…my bus would be leaving in fifteen minutes and I still wasn’t at the station.

Fresh fruit at the market...probably what made me decide to stop for food.

Fresh fruit at the market…probably what made me decide to stop for food.

So I ran, or at least as close as I could get to running with my camera and backpack slung over my shoulder and my wheeled backpack bouncing along the sidewalk beside me.  And as I ran, I got warm. Really warm. I felt like I was baking in my raincoat so I struggled to pull it off. And soon after that I yanked off my sweater too, leaving me in just a t-shirt as I finally arrived at the main station. I felt so much better with the cool air rushing over my clammy skin so I decided to just stick with the t-shirt. Tying my coat to my bag and looping my sweater over my arm, I took my place beside two elderly Slovenian women and waited for the busses to arrive.

I felt the women staring at me as I stood beside them. Getting more and more uncomfortable I finally glanced their way, into eyes wide with shock. To be honest, it really wasn’t that warm out, maybe about 12 or 13 degrees Celsius. But for a girl who had recently escaped the Polar Vortex that was taking over Canada, and had just run to the station, it was warm enough to just be in a t-shirt. At least for a little bit.

But, the way those two old women looked at me, you would have thought I was only wearing a t-shirt in the middle of a blizzard. Neither one spoke a word of English, but as soon as I made eye contact both were on me in two seconds flat; babbling away in Slovenian, complete with arm gestures, miming that it was too cold for me to be without a coat or sweater. One rubbed her hands up and down my arms while the other tugged my sweater out of my arm to wrap it around me.

‘No, no, it’s okay.” I tried to explain, “I’m Canadian.” As if explaining that I was from a country notorious for its cold winters would help.

It didn’t.  And these two elderly Slovenian women, bundled in their own coats and scarves, continued to wrestle with me until my sweater was back on. Smiling and rubbing my shoulders the entire time. Eventually I just gave up. As hot as I was, it was just way too cute that these little old women cared so much about a complete stranger, and a foreigner to boot.

Pleased with their work they positioned themselves beside me, as in one on either side, as if they were afraid I would take it off again.

I didn’t, at least not then.

A few minutes later my bus pulled up and I smiled and waved goodbye to the women. But it wasn’t until we pulled away that I figured I was safe to go back to just my t-shirt. Just in case.

Ljubljana Castle on the hill

Ljubljana Castle on the hill


  1. Beth on March 5, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Aw, that’s so cute that those little old ladies cared about you!! But I can’t imagine being in that situation– not sure what I would of done! haha

    • Hannah Logan on March 5, 2015 at 10:10 pm

      I think I was too shocked and surprised to mumble anything other than ‘its ok I’m Canadian’ and looking back I honestly don’t know how I thought that would help me. haha

  2. Jenna on March 6, 2015 at 6:11 am

    Haha! Too funny–they sound like cute little ladies! What a funny situation to be in! 🙂

  3. Meg Jerrard on March 6, 2015 at 7:17 am

    Lol gotta love it! I probably would have given in as well 😀

    • Hannah Logan on March 6, 2015 at 8:11 pm

      Yeah, I kinda had to suck it up for them

  4. Tam Gamble on March 6, 2015 at 10:05 am

    I am always running for trains and buses, no matter what the time I seem to cut it fine. I would have probably ended up removing clothing as well; running is not my favourite pastime.

    • Hannah Logan on March 6, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Exactly…and who wants to run where there are so many nice things to see? haha

  5. kami on March 6, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    I’d probably react the same as those ladies 😉 12C is not the weather for the tshirt!!! 😉

    • Hannah Logan on March 6, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      When you come from -40 all day every day it is! haha

  6. The Guy on March 6, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    What a great tale which demonstrates how you can meet some incredibly friendly and caring people whilst travelling.

    As for timetables Hannah, it sounds like you are distracted by many things en route. Maybe you should go to more boring places that have less distractions? Or maybe a travel companion who is a stickler for staying to the timetable?

    Either way you seem to have some great adventures 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on March 6, 2015 at 8:09 pm

      haha thanks! My track record is pretty crap isn’t it? Although Its been awhile so *maybe* I’m out growing that trend?

  7. Alli on March 6, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Hehe such a cute post! Until I got distracted by how pretty the castle looked in the early morning and stopped to take pictures – – LOL.

    I remember the Polar Vortex well . . . *shudder!* I think if you are really running about in 13 degree weather, it can get pretty hot if you have the layers packed on!

    • Hannah Logan on March 6, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      Castles are always distracting 😉 also… I think we are in Polar Vortex round 2 this year 🙁

  8. Crystal on March 7, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    “No, no, it’s okay. I’m Canadian.” Ahahaha! I love this!
    It’s cute that they cared so much, but if I was feeling hot, I’d be in the same position. I hate feeling unnecessarily hot.
    But what a cute story!

    • Hannah Logan on March 8, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      They were way to cute…it was worth being hot for the extra few minutes. haha

  9. Sammi Wanderlustin' on March 8, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Bahahahahaha! That is hilarious. Have you read SJ’s (chasing the donkey) Death by Flip Flop, totally reminded me of that!!!

    • Hannah Logan on March 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm

      lol YES that’s a good one too. Good times

  10. Tim on March 8, 2015 at 7:50 pm

    Very cute story and a testament to the kindness and well-meaning gestures of those we meet when traveling. You certainly handled the situation perfectly.

  11. antonette - we12travel on March 9, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Cool story! This recently happened to me too, when in Naples. I came from Holland where it was just above zero and there it was 14 and sunny. So I was wearing my summer jacket and sunglasses while everyone there was wearing hats and wintercoats 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on March 9, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Haha if it was 14 and sunny right now here I’d go swimming!

  12. Urska on March 9, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Such a funny story! Also, so great to see my city up here, hope you liked it 🙂

    • Hannah Logan on March 10, 2015 at 12:00 pm

      I LOVED all my time in Slovenia- I also went to Bled and Piran. And I may have to come back this year to see more 😉

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