22 February, 2009

the best laid plans of mice and men

Wow, this is turning into the crazy-travel blog. (I just posted 3 entries, so read on if you want!)

Continuing on my journey from the night train (where, dear reader, I last described the pungent scent of the deserted train station as I eagerly awaited my 11:23pm departure on the night line), I boarded the train expecting…well, I don’t know what. I made a couchette reservation (the middle spot, so I would have to climb into the bed).

I was the last of six to arrive…and let me just describe in as few words as possible that these were 5 big stinky guys. So I get up into my bed, and all of a sudden- thump- the bottom half of it falls off of the knob that is holding it up and it starts tipping downward.
I immediately get OFF of the bed, try to fix it by lifting it back up. Seems to take. Get on again. BOOM. People- I am not THAT fat. Really. I know, I shouldn’t have had burger king for dinner, but seriously. And I wasn’t even sitting on that side—as soon as I climbed up to the other side it still fell.

So I play around with it again. FINALLY with the help of one of the stinky guys (the one right under me whose impending serious injury probably got him to think that it may be a good idea to help me out), found an extra screw that the bed was supposed to rest on…that was not screwed in. Grrrreat.

So we did that, the bed didn’t fall on his head, yadda yadda yadda, I slept from about 1am-3:30am.

Now I ALWAYS do this. When I have to wake up early, even if I set an alarm, I will sleep like CRAP, waking up way before the alarm, and then drifting in and out of sleep in 15 minute spurts. Not so fun. We got off of the smelly train at 6:23 am in Maelmo, I got on a regional 30 minute train to Copenhagen, had an hour to kill there (luckily I found my internet ticket from …YESTERDAY when I had bought an hour at a cafĂ© and only used 30 minutes), and then I got on the train to Hamburg.

Now, people. Once again, I will ask you very politely, oh Dbahn Gods…WHY would you not TELL someone that halfway through the trip you will be asked to get off of the train, onto a Ferry boat, and then back on the train again?
Also, WHY would you sell someone a train ticket that is clearly marked Hamburg to Hannover…which really means: Arrive in Hamburg Main Station, RUN your ass off to the SBahn (regional city subyway/train line), take an 8 minute Sbahn to ANOTHER stop…NEAR Hamburg, that is NOT called Hamburg, have to find your train departure to Hannover NOT by the time that is written on your ticket, because apparently that was the time that you neded to get on the Sbahn, but instead by cruising the board for the first train that leaves that has the stop Hannover written in one of the first 10 cities that each blue screen lists.

And how was I to know ANY of this? Well, I DIDN”T …until I overheard some people speaking in German about how annoying it was that they had to take the Sbahn to get to Hannover. And then my ears perked up and I was like---whaaaat? Sbahn? And then I asked the conductor if this was true, and she said yes.

And so.
Instead of being on my way to Hannover (after having taken that Sbahn to the correct departure station), I am now on an IC (not ICE) train to Dortmund. I’m trying to get to Hagen. The fake-Hamburg to Hannover train is 10 minutes late. Guess how many minutes I have to make my Hannover to Hagen connection? 9 minutes.
Now, I love these train systems. Really I do. But I didn’t want to take a chance that the train would make up those 10 minutes.

So—being (some would say anal, I would say always prepared)….I had written down “other” possibilities of connections. And thank goodness I did. Fake-Hamburg to Dortmund, Dortmund to Hagen.
I better be OFF of public transportation by 15:55.

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