There is something sobering and ironic about riding on a bus in Poland that is taking me back to Krakow and noticing that the fabric on all of the chairs is advertising the Strand movie theater’s marquee for the film STRANDED.
This afternoon when I went to Track 1 to take the express to the airport, I asked a nice Polish woman if I was getting on the train to the airport. She smiled widely and nodded ‘knowingly’ in the affirmative, so I boarded.
Of course about 25 minutes later when the conductor saw my ticket he alerted me to the fact that I was on a train going the exact opposite direction from the airport. And with pointed finger and instructions entirely in Polish, he promptly dropped me off here:
You really don’t want to know what I had to go through to get out of this place. And needless to say the entire day’s energies went on trying to resolve the matter of arriving at the airport just minutes too late for my flight – taken there by a university professor of interior design who drove me from that picture to the airport, and thereby losing the entire prepaid cost to RyanAir with the price suddenly jacked up considerably, more than twice the original fare that I lost.
So the conference in Italy where I am to chair the panel is not looking good at the moment, seeing that near the end of my month-long trip in Europe and two conference attendances so far — Vienna and Zakopane — the present distress calls for determining how and when to now leave Krakow. Both Italy and Finland remain for the next two weeks with commitments to both for academic conference presentations but I can look at all of this right now through the sobering lens of reality, and draw the sad conclusion that something’s gotta give, not sure what, playing it by ear at this point, but the stress level is max with the finances continuing off the charts and still two weeks to go. Of course I must leave from London no sooner than when my ticket says, or suffer further financial penalty, which actually cannot happen.
So, there it is. And here it is: riding the train to Krakow that would have taken me to the airport for my flight to Milan had I held back from presuming that the average Polish person in a transportation facility understood the English term airport, and would send me forward in trust of her, radically changing my course direction and keeping me indefinitely in remarkably friendly, cold, rainy Krakow for now….