Why are we comforted by planning extra time to wait at airports and train stations?
So, my Vienna adventure begins. I write this looking out at the Simmering train stop, having asked some Czechs or Austrians in a mix of Czech and English which stop was next. Then I found myself muddled in the mix of what “next” means. Anyhow, my adventure really began at school this morning. I had learned yesterday that quarter grades were due today. I hadn’t any knowledge of it before that point and found myself scrambling in order to ensure that my students got the grades that they had truly earned. Having kept my records on my computer, you can imagine my disappointment as my computer’s battery died just as I was writing in the books before departure. This mandated an hour-long excursion back to my dorms to retrieve my charger.
With this unexpected event occurring, I decided I would be more European in my purchasing of my train ticket and wait to purchase the ticket until shortly before the departure. I scrambled around packing my suitcase and attending to final details. Packed, I headed for my train station of choice. First I was redirected from the initial ticket window because I wanted to purchase an international train ticket. When at the correct window, I cowered and simply showed the attendant my notes about the train I wanted, rather than rely on speech alone. I feared what mishaps I could find myself in if I misunderstood even a single word. This all went swimmingly and I write this with Vienna in view.
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Fast forward to the Vienna airport, in which I now sit awaiting a flight to Sofia. My last minute ventures, unfortunately, have not ended. I was met in the Vienna train station by a friend from high school. We both grew up in Iowa, later moved to the Twin Cities, and then both ventured to central Europe. After an evening at her flat, we got up shortly after 6 and she graciously made me oatmeal and mint tea. She escorted me through the underground as far as the airport train. I descended to the platform around 7:15, only to find that the next train left at 7:38. Knowing anxiety would not help, I saved it for my arrival at the airport. There I prayed as I rushed around hoping to find the correct terminal. By God’s grace, I found an automatic check-in; boarding pass in hand, I rushed toward my gate. 8:05 and at security, I set off the alarm, winning me a very thorough pat down and a scanning of my boots. I now know to wear a different bra and different footwear on future flights.
As I sat anxiously, waiting for my boots as they were scanned, I wondered at the truth of my boarding pass, which promised 8:05 boarding. I then irrationally feared that I would be detained because my impatience waiting for my footware was evident on my face. Boots on and coat in hand, I blitzed it over to gate D35, and saw bored passengers all around. To be safe, I inquired at the desk and they ensured me that boarding had not yet begun. As I write this, they’ve announced boarding. So, ahoj for now.