Despite cries of excitement at the prospect of me moving to Europe so they could come visit me, only one of my friends had come to visit me in the almost two years since I moved to Poland. A few months ago, I finally roped another into buying a flight.
I’ve known Laura since her mother (our chemistry teacher) had the poor sense to sit us next to each other in the back of the room 12 years ago, thinking that for once we would shut up. (Didn’t work!) We’ve been BFF ever since.
Laura decided she had enough money, and it had been long enough since she’d last been to Europe, so here we are with our little Easter vacation. Before leaving Los Angeles, Laura had a million questions, because as she puts it: “YOU UNDERESTIMATE MY ABILITY TO GET LOST.” Considering the language barrier and Poland’s reputation as not the friendliest place (a bit undeserved but we’ll talk about that later), I can understand her apprehension.
So Laura was set to fly in to Warsaw today, and this morning I get a message saying her flight to Warsaw has been delayed 3 hours. Not a big deal in the world of international travel. Only thing is, Laura is supposed to get on a bus to Budapest one hour and forty-five minutes after her new scheduled landing time. Is she gonna make it through Warsaw’s infamous traffic?
Well, no. She was in the taxi for over an hour, and the bus departure time was minutes away, and the GPS said there was still 25 minutes to go. So she turned around and headed to the central station to try and get a ticket on the overnight train. I give her the details on which window to go to, which ticket to ask for, etc.
She messages me that the train is full.
But wait, she messages one second later. There are still sleeper cars left!
And now she is in the car next to mine, or at least it will be the one next to mine when I get on the same train in Katowice.
I realized last night that I could’ve bought us both tickets from Katowice to Budapest, and told her to get from Warsaw to Katowice (pretty easy to do by bus or train). I’m not sure why this plan of action didn’t occur to me. But nevertheless, here we are, on the same night train, in adjacent wagons, heading to Budapest for Easter. I’m hoping my level head and savvy travel experience can temper her bad luck and lack of an internal compass. Fingers crossed.