One time (this time, to be exact), I thought it would be a good idea to take a midnight train from Poland to Germany.
You see, Wroclaw is in the South of Poland....Szczecin is at the northern part of Poland....almost to the sea side. I was going to Cologne (Köln), which is in Germany.... Germany is west of Poland. See the map?
Yes, so it was quite strange that I was being taken to Szczecin (and then on a train to Berlin and then to Köln) but I do not create the train itineraries. The rail companies create the itineraries. Piotr and I now refer to this night as "the-midnight-train-from-hell night". It involved me having to board the sketchiest train of all time (carrying 3 suitcases that equaled, if not doubled, my bodyweight). To make matters worse, the train was full so I had to stand with the aforementioned suitcases in between train compartments with the windows rattling opened and closed It was freezing, I was exhausted and I was also the saddest I'd been in a long time. I had just said goodbye to Vienna (the city of, not the former Bachelor contestant) a week before and I was sad to be leaving Poland. I knew it was going to be a sad departure but I didn't realize just how sad until the doors to the train had shut and locked with me inside before I could tell him goodbye. I had say goodbye through the train window (not knowing when exactly I'd be back) and I was just standing there with tears rolling down my face because I was sad, scared, tired, cold and alone and the next afternoon I was meeting 139 other Americans for Fulbright training and I didn't feel like socializing or being trained for teaching or learning anything. I felt like jumping off the train and never leaving Poland again. But I stayed on the train, went to training, met wonderful people (some of whom are my current dear friends) and officially began my "career" as a Fulbright scholar. (The funny thing is that last September, I blogged about the entire night train experience -with every descriptive detail- and had to delete most of the story after my mom deemed it "too scary" for her to read!)
In hindsight, I can laugh about what a horrific night that was. And besides, now I can pronounced the word "Szczecin", which is very, very impressive, if I do say so myself.
And I do.
And I do.