mishaps getting to Europe

Posted by D on Sunday, May 06, 2012

Looking back, you realize a lot that could've been done differently. In hindsight, it probably would've made more sense to take some time off, go home, etc. before the bam-bam-bam process of exams-packing-moving-Europe. (This entire entry will probably leave S feeling very validated, ha.) In between the sleep deprivation & mental exhaustion, there's been a ton of... not very bright moments over the last couple days. But maybe you guys can gain a little what-not-to-do knowledge from my mishaps. 

Last 2 nights in Toronto, crashed with M & A, respectively. Both were absolutely amazing hosts - thanks again, lovely ladies :) Although M's suburban house differs greatly from A's bachelorette pad apartment, they both had an individualistically distinct feeling of home to them. Glad to have had a bit of that, not being able to go home and being literally alone in a foreign continent for the next few months. 

So anyway, getting to Pearson was okay - after a slight mishap of accidentally locking A out of her own apartment (sorry!), rushing back to the new place, grabbing McD's & my bags, TTC to Pearson... got off at the wrong terminal. Yeah, idk why it didn't occur to me to check which terminal I was at first. Oops. Was panicked, but luckily made it with plenty of time to spare. Customs, security, the usual, then flew to Metro Wayne in Detroit. 
The walkway between concourses was pretty epic - it's like a elongated tunnel with swirling colored lights on the sides and calming music playing. Kind of like being underwater. Again, uneventful, boarded the plane for the next leg of the journey - was in the seat literally at the very back of the plane, which was slightly unfortunate. Sat beside a guy from Amsterdam though, which was cool. 

Schiphol was significantly more hectic. Plane landed slightly behind schedule, & it took ages to get off (being at the back). Went through what I thought was security, but was apparently customs heh. Then, over the intercom, "Passenger [D], you're holding up the plane." Then something about luggage would leave without me. D: That was kind of embarrassing. Booked it over, made it with time to spare still, phew. 

Managed the airport bus & streetcar from the airport to the hotel/B&B pretty successfully, all things considered (most important being that things were now all in German). (Considered taking a cab, but a) I'm a cheap university student - 40 vs 7,20 = more travel/shopping money & b) 1 backpack + 1 luggage? would've been a cop out.) 
So anyway - the hotel was pretty nice - view from window ^ - the buildings, etc. definitely have that distinctively European flair to them. When the front desk first gave me the key (#26), I headed up in the elevator & stopped in front of a narrow door labelled 26 with a sticker of a French girl & "toilette" in script font. I open the door. It's a puny toilet + sink. I shut the door, heart racing, mind whirling. I'd booked a 'single room with shower + sink, & separate WC'. I open the door again. It's still just a bathroom. Had I messed up & booked just a bathroom for the night?! 

It turned out my room was around the bend, also labelled '26' haha. The entire B&B had a really rustic feel - wooden tools on the walls, dried crops, animal furs/skulls/paintings, etc. Showered, passed out on the bed. Wake up. Key turns in door, big German woman comes in, babbling at me. Uhh, what is going on? She looks at my booking, says "it's gut!" & leaves. 

I'm beyond baffled. Decide to charge electronics. Take out what I'd bought at Shoppers, a contraption which I'd thought was a power converter, but now realize is only a plug adapter. Uh oh. Head downstairs, front desk tells me there's another guest named [D] from Canada who's coming tonight. Uh... Apparently there'd been some confusion in calls between the booking people, front desk, my parents (separately) & for whatever reason, they thought I hadn't arrived yet. 

Streetcar back into the city, wander around for 4 hours, get lost, and find no power converters anywhere. (Also, getting directions from Germans is different from Canadians... "oh it's just 300m that way" + vague point). Upon my return to the hotel, check the voltage capacities for the 3 electronics I bought... they're all capable of handling up to 240V. Just the plug adapter is fine. Wow. 

So yeah, my trip & first few hours here have been kind of crazy. Still getting used to the time difference & basically sleeping all over the place, it's whack. It hasn't really sunk in yet that I'm in Germany, in Europe. I think because I've wanted to visit Europe for so long, it's all very surreal. That, & the bustle of the last couple days have left me totally out of it and barely able to focus on one thing at a time. 

Need to be coherent by tomorrow though :)


  1. This sounds so incredibly exciting! The view from the window is so nice! So. Many Trees.

    LOL at the power converter issue, I think you're stressing too much. Take a breather and learn some German!

  2. Ha, it all sounds very thrilling! The walk way for the airport is really cool also :)

  3. oh, i love that walkway. beautiful colors. i hope you'll like germany. it can be a strange country for some :)i used to live there for six years and try to visit every chance i get.

    best wishes!

  4. Well, I suppose the little things that go wrong are what makes trip stories funny! Hope everything's gone okay and you're having a good time.

  5. Glad you ended up making it there OK!


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