Sunday, September 22, 2013

Slovenia, My Slovenia

My day-to-day life is fairly mundane. On Sundays, I write this blog and check my schedule for the week at my greeting card job. Then, I plan out the remainder of the week, based on how many days I have to leave the house to get my grocery job done and figure out how many days I can devote myself to writing. Boring stuff, eh?

A few Mondays ago this point was driven home to me. The bank called me bright and early to go over some activity on my credit card. Had I made a purchase at Wal-Mart? Yes, I replied. Purchased something from Barnes & Noble? Yes, I had another book on my Nook which will languish there for months before I get around to it. I was lamenting the fact that, even with my credit card purchases, one could determine how bland my life is. Their next question: Did I make a reservation at a hotel in Slovenia last night? Wha-a-a-t?

I assured them I was not in Slovenia, had never been, that I was, in fact, in Ohio, which is as far removed from Slovenia as one could get. They assured me they'd take care of the charge and cancelled my credit card, with instructions that I should head to the bank that day to be issued a new one. What a headache.

I was grateful that the bank was on top of this fraudulent behavior and I wouldn't be stuck paying someone else's bill. But then, I got angry. How dare someone expect me to pay the bill at a swank hotel in Slovenia and not invite me! I could use a vacation, too.

Is there even a swank hotel in Slovenia? I wondered. A quick internet search answered my question--yes, Slovenia is a great travel destination with many wonderful hotels. It's nestled near the Alps, providing stunning views to any tourists who happen to  wander into the country. Gorgeous scenery and historic old buildings abound. It's even home to the Lipizzaner stallions!

Perhaps, one day I'll join my credit card and venture to Slovenia. I'll stay in the best hotel, I'll ride the stallions, I'll spend a weekend in a castle. Right now, though, it sounds like a great backdrop for one of my stories. This country was never on my radar before, but now I'm thinking about it in terms of how I can use it for my writing. This never would have been conceivable before the call from the bank. Which goes to show that inspiration can come from anywhere and anything. I guess I need to thank the predators who somehow managed to steal my card.


  1. Years ago, at Christmas, my supervisor's credit card went on a global spree; a retreat in Arizona, a hunting club in South America (including weapons purchases). This happened before CC fraud was a common thing that Banks believed or acknowledged so she was in for a miserable fight. For over a year after the card was cancelled she continued to receive the statements and she made a grim joke of it to share with us the monthly adventures of her gad-about digits (the actual plastic card had never left her purse).

  2. My husband has had this experience three times. YIKES!! The first time it happened, I traced the thief back to her real name and address. Never heard whether American Express pressed charges or not, though I certainly hope they did.

  3. Great post, Becky. It does make you wonder, doesn't it? Was the thief taking his wife on a long overdue vacation? Or perhaps his mistress? Years ago someone stole one of my mother's credit cards, and the bank reported that most of the purchases were of toys and clothes. Somehow it made my mom feel better, that the thief had used it for necessities and to buy things for his family.

  4. I really hate it when your credit card takes a journey without you. I lost mine last week. The bank promptly cancelled and replaced it. My credit card and I are now sitting on the floor of The Budget Inn in New York, (hostels provide beds, but no chairs) anticipating our journey to Ireland. I am going to Lisdoonvarna where they hold a matchmaking festival in September. Story fodder, for sure.

  5. Great topic, Becky.

    I would love to know the virtual journey your credit card number took to get from you all the way to Slovenia. Yes, it's awesome the credit card company caught the mistake, but how did the mystery "guest" get the number in the first place?

    Christy McKee

  6. Gee, my credit only made it to a McDonalds in Montreal before my Identity Protection service shut it down! How unimaginative can you get.

    The good news is my ID Theft report to the local police introduced me to a very cute officer who made me laugh. :-)

  7. Last summer, I was on vacation in Idaho, visiting with my family of origin. I was awakened one morning by, of all things, a phone call from Victoria's Secret. Yes, Victoria's Secret.

    "Hi there!" the woman chirped. "We wanted to verify that you are indeed the person who purchased over $500 of our merchandise."

    It wasn't me, of course. As I told the phone rep, Victoria's Secret doesn't even make clothing in sizes that fit my grandness.

    Worst of all, I was jealous of the person who stole my identity. What kind of spicy sex life did she have, anyway? Sheesh!

  8. Fortunately I've never had a credit card stolen or identity theft. What I really enjoyed was reading of Becky's unplanned
    "venture" to Slovenia and wondered if the man waiting for her in the hotel was as handsome and daring like all the heroes in her novels. I'll bet her mind is spinning with a wondrous and beautiful tale. I can't wait to read it, Becky.

    Sharon Lee Fernberg