Wednesday, April 21, 2010
So One Time A Volcano Blew Up in Iceland...
...and caused me to be stuck in Europe, alone, for six days. I was supposed to meet Tom Horn, Trent Martin, and Kyle Timmerman in Munich, which sounded fool-proof so I bought a train ticket to Prague the evening of their arrival. I had no idea that a volcano exploded until I heard a woman talking to her friend on the phone on the Munich metro saying her flight was probably cancelled to Chicago. I told her to stop joking with me when she told me about the eruption and that it wasn't funny, and that's when she pointed to a man's newspaper a few seats away that had a huge picture of it on the cover. I walked in the airport and it was complete insanity: there were huge lines everywhere, it was very loud, and there were already people camping out. I would say that's a slight change in plans.
I didn't know what to do, at all, but I figured it would be better not to waste a ticket to Prague than to stay in Munich for another night and that this would blow over (literally). To make a long, long story short, it didn't get better and I bounced around Europe heading east for the next five days. The lines in the train stations were 8 and 9 hours long everywhere, so I had to get creative with how I got around. I met people from all over Europe and the US who were stranded and couldn't get back. Some had work on Monday and didn't know if they had a job anymore. Some were running out of money in a bus station because they didn't plan on staying for four extra days. All in all, I took three trains, three buses, a boat ride, and a taxi in five days to get back here to Lugoj. In those five days, I went from Munich to Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Oradea, and Timisoara to get back to Lugoj by 12:00 AM this morning. Let's just say I'm a little bitter towards Iceland.
And a funny story: Have things ever gone so wrong and seemed so ridiculous that it's almost funny? When anything and everything, and I mean everything, goes wrong in such monumental ways for no reason at all? That's what this entire week was like. I did enjoy such headlines in newspapers that said "Europe under a cloud of uncertainty" and watching news anchors on CNN trying to pronounce "Eyjafjallajökul Volcano."