how we got from poland to spain. otherwise known as “yeah…about that…” (part 3)

Thursday, June 2, 2011


{A = Wroclaw, Poland ||  B= Frankfurt, Germany || C = Alicante, Spain || D = Granada, Spain}
image

our initial plan was to take a taxi from the alicante airport to the alicante bus station;  that is, until we exited the airport and noticed there was not a taxi in sight.  oh yeah, and it was midnight.  oh yeah, and we had an hour to get to the bus station.  if we missed our bus, we’d be in trouble, as they left so sporadically and the next departure time after our bus’ departure was 7 hours later.

when problems had arisen in germany, it fell to caroline and i both to handle it together, as we both speak the language.  when problems came up in poland, piotr took charge, as caroline doesn’t know a word of polish and my reciting the fruits and vegetables usually offers little to no conflict resolution.  spain, however, was different.  i majored in spanish, whereas caroline’s never taken a spanish class in her life.  so when we found ourselves standing in the taxi lane in front of the alicante airport at midnight and there were no taxis in sight, i said to caroline, “i got this”.  but inwardly, i said to myself, “i don’t know if i got this”. 

it’s been over a year since i’ve spoken spanish.  and when i picked up my cell phone, dialed the number on the taxi sign, and started speaking to the woman who answered the phone, german words were the only words running through my brain.  i somehow managed to express to her that we were standing in front of the airport, in the taxi lane, in dire need of a taxi – that we had to catch us a bus from the bus station in 55 minutes.  the woman told me, “there are many taxis in front of the airport”.  i told her that actually, there were none!  isn't that funny? she told me there are always - no matter what time of day or night – taxis in front of the airport.  i told her that, funnily enough, we must have managed to show up during the first time in history when this was not the case.  i asked her if she could send one.  she told me i was mistaken and that i must be in the wrong place.  i told her i was sure we were in the correct location and asked if she could send a taxi.  she told me no and hung up.  she was a real sweetheart. 

both of us, slightly freaking out at this point, walked inside in search of the information desk.  we quickly spotted the desk and i asked the man behind it where the taxis were.  he pointed to the exact location in which we had just been standing.  yeah, thought so.  i told him there were no taxis and asked what we should do.  he told us to go to the police.  the police???  yes, the police. to our relief, he pointed around the corner to the airport police station.  timidly, caroline and i approached the police office – all the while wondering why exactly we were approaching the police office – and knocked on the door.  two very intrigued-looking spanish men in police uniforms opened the door and i explained to them that we now had 50 minutes to get to the bus station and there were no taxis to be found.  they told us that at any hour of the night, at least one taxi can be found in front of the airport.  i laughed, in the kind of laugh that says, “i’m laughing but i’m actually on the verge of tears” and told them there. were. no. taxis. outside.  clearly under the impression that we were delusional, idiotic american girls, the younger of the two officers escorted us to the taxi lane, where -- lo and behold! -- there were still no taxis! 

he commented that this was strange and asked if we’d called the taxi company.  yes, we called them and they suck, i more or less replied.  he told me that he’d call and order one right away.  he said it would take 10-15 minutes.  we thanked him and i said to caroline, “okay…when the taxi arrives, we’ll have half an hour to get to the bus station.  we got this.”  10-15 minutes later, we’re still standing in front of the airport (the warm wind felt really soothing, by the way – so at least we had one good thing going for us ) and still no taxi has arrived.  we return to the police office, explain our yet unsolved predicament and they pick up the phone.  after a 30 second phone call, they explain that whoops, that taxi never left!  how funny is that?  yeah, we were super tickled by that.

10 minutes later, the taxi pulls up.  i explain to the driver that we have 20 minutes to get to the bus station and that we are in a major hurry.  he speeds along the beachside highway, the waves crashing along the sand just to our right.  10 minutes later, we arrive at the bus station.  he then tells us that he must warn us about something; that the bus station is a very dangerous place and that we need to proceed from here with caution.  i nodded (without fully processing what he’d just said) and thanked him, having to more or less shove a 20 euro bill into his hand – he seemed to be much more concerned with our safety than being paid, which i should have found noteworthy but, having only minutes to buy our ticket and board our bus, my panicked brain didn’t allow for such thoughts.  when we walked into the bus station, however, the driver’s ominous warning suddenly made perfect sense.

{to be continued}

28 comments:

Maria E. said...

This could definitely be a book. You should compile a bunch of your stories and write a book. Yup. This is an awesome idea.

And. this. is. getting. really. really. scary.

xo
Maria Elyse
First Impressions
Flying Ships Vintage

Jamie @ charmingly ordinary said...

Part II is coming soon, yes?! Can't wait...

Jenny said...

Just tell me this: Are you writing this from heaven?? I must know if you live or die in this story.

Alex said...

This is like reading a book! I know you're alive, so that's good, but I'm interested to see how this whole fiasco pans out!

Erin said...

I went to Spain in college, and was very thankful to be travelling with my friend who had just finished studying abroad there and was close to fluent w/ the language. I knew zero spanish, and found it to be harder to get around there than in some European countries. I love the laid back attitude in Spain... but it is also enough to make you a little crazy when trying to get around! I'm pretty stressed about the bus station part of this story...

Inessa said...

what a nightmare with the taxi situation oh my!

Chelsea said...

ahhh Jenni. be careful, if they are anything like the train station is in Atlanta... i sure hope yall looked down a whole lot and took off any jewlery! hehe at least i know you are alive. i am ready for part II!

Gentri said...

Oh my goodness! This story is epic! Can't wait for more!

nova said...

Hahahahhaha wow, I love that whole "why are we going to talk to the police?" thing...it's so typical of traveling, hey? There's always a few moments of "what the hell?"

Jen said...

Wow, this story sounds interesting... =) Can't wait to read the rest!

jenny said...

i second, "epic".... can't wait for more,

Kae said...

this story is stressing me out a bit, in a good way, of course.

Charlotte said...

I love your writing style!

I also love that I have to keep reminding myself that it had to have turned out ok or you wouldn't be writing now...

But still, no more cliffhangers ok???

Kate said...

suspenseful! hurry with the next part! ;)

Rebecca at Cotton+Wood said...

Oh my goodness. Now, I'm definitely dying to hear the next part.

Ana said...

Oh my goodness, this is quite a story! I hope everything ended up ok, since you're writing about it.... I'm definitely going to check back to read the end of this story, and also look at the other parts before. I have to say you write really well!
Thank you so much for visiting my blog!

Melissa at bubbyandbean.com said...

I haven't been to your blog in a while and loved to see this story when I stopped by. Not that it sounds like the most pleasant experience - but a great story nonetheless. Hope you're doing okay now!

xo,
melissa

Erica said...

I feel like I'm reading a book! I'm on the edge of my seat for part 4!! what happens at the bus station!

Antoinette said...

I love your writing style, you seriously need to think about writing a book! I am dieing to hear what happens next!!

Fashion Tales.... said...

Wow, seems so much happened...suspenseful and all very interesting to hear the rest. Just found your blog actually! -xo
FASHION TALES

Wendy said...

Oh my goodness! This is sounds so stressful! I can't wait for part four! :)

xo,
Wendy

Danielle said...

The suspense is killing me!! Ahhhh :)

Miss A said...

Oh my God! After my hiatus, this post made me realise how much I was missing out on :O Can't wait for part 4!

Jazzy E (hivenn) said...

♥♥

Tucker said...

haha this is just like the spanish to me (sorry spanish peeps) ... so laid back i want to splash cold water on them every once in a while.

Mighty Burns said...

oh this. is. good!

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

Oh, gosh... after reading all of this so far I'm just glad you're here to tell the story and actually feel like reciting it. Most of my horrible travel experiences I tend to try and forget as soon as possible.

Jan said...

Do you get enjoyment from making your mom worry?