Note – The Germany trip will be posted in a few separate parts, as there is a lot to share! A few highlights: a nearly missed flight and several bus problems, a hostel being closed and having nowhere to stay, a sprained ankle, getting stranded in a dark empty forest at night, credit cards not being accepted, snoring in hostels keeping us up all night, and much much more.
My thought process on Thursday morning, the day I was leaving for Germany…
1:30am – Ugh, I have to be up in four hours…how am I going to wake up? Better set 3 alarms. [proceed to set alarms for 5:30, 5:33, and 5:34am]
5:30am – [alarm 1 sounds; I wake frantically, realize the 2nd alarm will go off in a couple minutes and fall back asleep]
5:33am – [alarm 2 sounds] Alright, I need to get out of bed. [I switch on light beside bed, roll over, and close my eyes again.]
5:34am – [alarm 3 sounds; I finally get out of bed] Thank god I set that 3rd alarm or I would have been in trouble!
6:12am – [throwing on backpack and rushing out door] Uh oh, what if the bus comes early? I better speed walk through this empty town to the bus station! (which is only a few minutes away)
6:15am – [arrive to station] Thank goodness, I made it with time to spare. [double check bus schedule] Yep, here at 6:20. I’m good to go! Helllooo Germany.
6:19am – 1 minute to go. [stand up and put backpack on]
6:21am – [check watch]
6:23am – [check watch again] Well, they often run a little bit behind. No big deal. We have plenty of time to spare.
6:30am – Uh oh, better text Christine and let her know it’s running late.
6:35am – [call Christine because there was no answer to the text; no answer to the call either] God, where is it?! I’m freezing and if it doesn’t make good time, we won’t make the bus from the station to the airport! Perhaps the driver overslept and is running his route late??
6:38am – [call Christine again; no answer]
6:40am – [Arriva bus comes up towards the roundabout] ¡Por fin! [bus drives past the station and parks nearby] Wtf.
6:42am – He still hasn’t come over! [I walk toward it & see the driver walking up and down the aisles opening window shades. I stand there impatiently, pacing and tapping my foot debating whether to knock on the bus door.] What in the world is he doing? Doesn’t he realize some of us are going to be late for important things, namely I could miss my flight, if he doesn’t pick us up and get a move on?! [I walk around to the front of the bus and see it’s the bus for the school route.] Aww, what the hell…so where is my bus??
6:45am – [Call Christine again two times; no answer. Text her: “Christine, we have a serious problem! Answer soon!”]
6:50am – [Talk with other couple that has been waiting since 6:20ma as well] Well great, the next bus is at 7:10am, which arrives in Santiago at 8:30am…that is if we arrive on time…then I can catch the 8:40 bus, arrive to the airport by 9:10, exactly one hour before the flight…I’m fine. [continue calculating times and possibilities in my head]
7am – [Call Christine again, still no answer] Is it possible she forgot her phone at home? Or is she still sleeping? Or did the bus actually come and she got on in Boiro??
7:10am – Okay, so this one is going to arrive late, too. Perhaps there’s a bus driver strike today? That would make sense with all the Iberia strikes. Wait, is that even a reasonable thought? Why didn’t the first one come? Death in family suddenly? Bus accident on the way? Hmph.
7:12am – Still not here!
7:14am – [Arriva bus rolls up] Whew! Now to let this man have a piece of my mind… [make a pathetic attempt at telling him the other bus never came and I even arrived early, so I’m angry] Well that didn’t go so well. I need to work on my ‘complaints’ vocabulary. [walk to my seat while counting my change, realize I’m one euro short] Are you kidding me? Now I’m annoying and am going to make this bus even later. But hey, one euro is like $1.33. Definitely worth it. [tell bus driver; he gives me the euro] Oh yeah! I need a schedule, too, so I don’t have to walk to the station every time I need to know times. [ask driver for one; he answers he doesn’t have any] Of course not, they never do…not the last, what?, 5 times I’ve asked…oh well.
7:22am – [bus arrives to Boiro where Christine is supposed to get on the bus] Where is she, where is she?? Gosh, I hope she didn’t oversleep. Wait. If she’s not here, that means she probably caught the first one at 6:20, but when did it come to Pobra then? Could it have skipped my town? No. So when did it come?! I arrived 5 minutes early; I should have been fine. [bus driver gets off bus for some reason] Oh great, is he now going to take a smoke break? Isn’t it a little early, buddy?
7:25am – [phone rings…it’s Christine] “What?…The bus did come? What time?…So you’re in Santiago now?…Well I hope I make it….I don’t know how much a taxi will be if necessary…okay, hopefully I’ll see you at the airport in time….bye”
[doze in and out of sleep for bus trip]
8:23am – [arrive at Santiago Bus Station 7 minutes ahead of schedule] Man, I don’t understand this bus system at all. [check airport bus times; next one is at 8:40] Great! I even have time to run to the bathroom real quick. [begin walking upstairs and see airport bus pull in below] Oh shit! Is that it? [race downstairs; bus driver shakes his head at me, holds up “10” and pulls away] Okay good…at least the airport bus will be on time. Now off to the restroom.
8:37am – [another airport bus pulls up; I stand up and walk towards it…this bus driver also shakes his head at me as he pulls away and I stand there incredulous] Are. You. Kidding. Me.?!? [P.S. All sorts of words were going through my mind that I shouldn’t write here]
8:41am – [third airport bus arrives] Alright, let’s cross our fingers. Hopefully this one doesn’t send me away too, or I won’t be going to Germany today. [I board and pay, then have a seat in the front to begin writing this account of my crazy morning] Yes…thank goodness. I should make it after all. All is good. What a crazy two hours this has been.
From the above account, I’m sure I come across as the most impatient, anxious person in the world…but imagine running on little sleep, having a trip to Germany all booked and planned, then thinking you weren’t going to go simply because the Spanish bus system is completely whacked and unreliable. It was frustrating to say the least! Obviously, I ended up making it and all was good, but it set a precedent for how the long weekend was bound to go. Some of which I’ll tell you in the next blog post in a couple days…including Frankfurt and Heidelberg adventures. So stay tuned! I’m sure to have time as I’m crippled at home with an injured foot and am not allowed to walk or do much of anything….such fun.
2 thoughts on “Warning: Allow time for cultural differences.”
Yikes, I’m breathless just reading this! Hope your foot is better. Travel can be a real pain.
Can’t wait for the next installment! How about those Hoosiers? Did I tell you I’m going down for Little 500? BTW, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!