Saturday, July 8, 2017

By wandering and writing, what could go wrong? - The Wandering Writer

If you just plan your time correctly, everything should go smoothly, and that is a general wisdom. However, there is always the unexpected factor X that works against you and all your plans. With this, I do not mean that you should not plan your trip carefully, but that you must be ready also for that lovely factor that spices up your life.
During my stay in Tübingen as a student, I was a bit afraid to use the plane, so the first year I was returning back home in Italy with the combination of buses and trains. However, whether the level of comfort can be quite high, there is another factor that will make you reach the destination as tired as you can be. That is the time factor.
Imagine you have to spend 20 hours on a bus relying on the short breaks to use the toilets; yes, not really nice, but definitely doable, particularly if you are on a budget.
This is no more true nowadays, after the boom of the cheap flight's companies and the general lowering of the prices.
The cheap flight companies are good until they do not cancel the flight in the late evening. I was going to enjoy my first vacation in Finland, to reach a friend of mine who lived in Lapland. I was supposed to reach Helsinki later in the evening and take the night train to reach Rovaniemi in the morning.
The fact is that unexpectedly, the flight was canceled and since it was arranged by a cheap airline, it meant "deal with it buddy," and I was also supposed to buy again the ticket for the day after. Of course, the fare would have been way more expensive, and I would have lost another two days of my already short holiday and a considerable amount of money, which for a student wasn't the option.
Once again, I had to rely on a providential help coming from the parents of this friend of mine, who kindly set up for me in a record time a ticket from Germany to Finland with a boat. It was a run against the time to reach the harbor with the train and get into the boat, but I did it, so in a matter of 30 hours I was in Rovaniemi enjoying the magical Finnish Summer.
when the sun shines 24/7, even when it is cloudy :-) and the nights are mistaken for days, the sun for the moon...

Misfortunes like this happened quite often, and not all of them got me very lucky. Sometimes I had to sleep in the airport to catch the flight in the morning after.
I have been noticing that this sort of things happen preferably when you have a connection flight or another sort of connection, by which a delay with the plane or a flight cancellation will put you into major bureaucratic problems on whether to repurchase all the tickets you have bought so far.
Nothing should be easy when the factor X strikes, but the best is when you are the factor X.
I am sure you are wondering about the meaning; certainly, you do not have any intention of working against the smoothness of your trip.
But what if I tell you that this is what happened to me?
I was traveling by the night bus, from Germany to Italy, and  of course, we had to cross the border with Switzerland, and guess what could happen if at the passport control you realize that you have forgotten your  passport and ID card on the desk in your room at the student campus?
YEP! That is exactly what happened to me! I had only my student card showing anyway my picture, the Country where I was studying and my nationality.
As the Officers came to collect my passport, I opened up with the brightest smile I could ever have and told them with the maximum honesty that "Gosh, please help me, I have left my passport in my room in Germany!!" I said offering my student card.
The officer looked at me like to say, "how stupid you can be?"
She took my card and told me to wait as they will try to figure out a solution.
Once again, someone must have loved me from the above, and the Officers let me go without making any fuss about it. They just recommended me to get a new ID card from Italy, so that I wouldn't have any trouble on crossing the border on the journey back.

Another time, I was going to travel from Frankfurt to Helsinki, the reason was beyond the leisure, so no error was acceptable.
It was the 19th of September (I will never forget it!). I was waiting at the gate, and it was evening (those sort of accident happen in the most difficult part of the day).
I checked all my travel documents, passport, ticket, the telephone number of the man I was supposed to meet at the station of Helsinki.
I relaxed as I had everything, then a man in front of me started to read a newspaper; absentmindedly, I read the main titles, and my attention was caught by the date on the newspaper 20.9
Now, papers are not printed in the future, and I was sure it was the 19.9. No doubts about it! I could not possibly miss this detail!!
I looked at my mobile and realized that I missed the day and I had the meeting the day after in the early afternoon, so missing the flight was not an option, particularly when you need to impress your potential employer positively.
I went to the desk, and even risking to look like the most clueless person in the world, I needed to get on that plane.
Not to mention, I had to repurchase the ticket, but at least the fare was still reasonable, and I could reach Helsinki station just in time for the meeting.
Once again, everything went smoothly, and in the matter of one year, I moved to Helsinki, to work in that same firm.
Shall my misadventures be your guide to do things in the the right way, plan the trip being sure you leave the house with all the documentations required, the right day, and in advance to reach the airport, the harbor, the bus station at the right time to avoid all sort of factors X that will certainly upset you, but will add also that sense of adventure that make your trip funnier (at least when you are telling it back to your friends!).
And with one of the most spectacular views of the harbor of Helsinki, I give you an appointment for next week, hoping you also enjoyed this post!
Have a super day!!


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