Friday, July 1, 2011

june 14

Previously: May 31, June 1, June 2, June 3, June 4, June 5, June 6, June 7, June 8, June 9, June 10, June 11, June 12, June 13

Well this is it. The final trip entry. In case you couldn't tell, I've been losing steam on these things. It's a lot of writing to recount 15days...

I don't remember exactly what time my flight was - 10am? 11am? - but I was determined to not be late for it and left my room by 7:15am. I walked to the train station - on near empty streets - dragging my bag along the cobble-stoned sidewalks. *thud thud thud thud* I must have been a delight to all of those sleeping.

At Centraal Station, they have these yellow ticket machines for you to purchase tickets. A majority of the machines only accepted credit cards. Specifically, chip-and-pin credit cards (Catch up, America!), so I couldn't use those. I did, however, find one machine - tucked back in the corner - that accepted coins. After purchasing my tickets I walked on my merry way to the train, boarded and was on my way to the airport. Within moments of the train starting I realized I may have done something wrong. I bought the ticket but never put it through the ticket-reading machine at the entrance to the station. If you look at the diagram below, you can see how I completely bypassed it:

I spent the next 17minute train ride fretting about this. What if it was like the tube or metro or nearly ever other system in which you need to insert your ticket to leave the station? What if the ticket needs to be read at both the entrance and exit points? To only increase my anxiety I remembered a story about one of my mom's colleagues: While on vacation in Italy they took a journey via train, for which they had tickets. However, not knowing the system, they got on the train without getting the tickets validated. Once caught they were assigned a court date to pay their fine or whatever. Given that the date was not during their vacation they just came home... and now cannot go back to Italy. Shut up, I don't care if this is a different country. The point is: DON'T EFF WITH THE TRAINS.

We arrived at Schiphol airport and I braced myself for my inevitable fail. Which didn't happen. All was fine and I ultimately could have gotten this ride for free.

I really need to learn to calm the hell down.

As I checked-in I learned that my bag had only gained 5.5pounds over my 2weeks. Luggage WIN. Shopping FAIL.

Nothing too eventful happened the rest of the day. On the flight I watched a few movies, read books, ate. Customs was speedy and no big deal. From there it was a series of buses that took just as long, if not longer, than the actual flight due to all of the waiting in the bus terminals. But once back in Augusta I picked up my car and drove the final 20minutes home. I got there around 8pm. I was asleep by 8:30pm. Over 20hours since I woke up.

And there you have it. My 2weeks in Europe.


1 comment:

  1. Actually is was Greece that was the culprit, not Italy. Given all its financial problems, the Greeks have figured out a quick way to make a buck off tourists. My colleague swears there were no signs in the train terminal saying that folks needed to validate their tickets after purchase and before boarding--he did see those signs at his destination, the airport--a little too late to avoid the citation, court date, and potential fine!