Monday, May 28, 2007

an anecdote regarding my trip to krakow

in order to prolong our weekend traveling time, we decided to take a sleeper car to krakow. i had only been in a sleeper car once before: the summer i turned ten, my parents chose to add some adventure to our family vacation in europe by making the trip from prague to paris via train through germany. i have faint recollections of this journey. mainly of sleep and fast-passing scenery. thus, i must admit, i had somewhat romanticized ideas regarding this train ride to krakow.

our train was set to leave prague at 8:55 and arrive at the crack of dawn. it was an ideal traveling situation--a perfect mix between adventure and mindful time management. we would arrive in krakow, drop off our bags, and explore the city from morning to night.

unfortunately, the sleeper car turned out to be about the size of a new york bathroom, unimaginably small, and sufficiently impossible to sleep in. the only thing funnier than the six of us attempting to pile into this cell and climb up onto our so-called beds was the sorry fact that we had willingly paid some 200 extra korunas to be blessed with this experience.

the night was as horrific as you can imagine. the heat was unbearable, the window wouldn't stay open, and we had to keep our door closed to get our 200 korunas worth of closed cabin security. i suffered the night away on a middle bunk, which was situated somewhere in the sahara i'm convinced, wherein i was prevented from sleep not only by my claustrophobic surroundings or the rock-hard bed, but by suffocation. i guess it didn't help that we chose to drink cheap, soapy wine before bed in order to tranquilize our nerves. so, when i wasn't trying to rub my limbs against cold sections of the wall or window, i was helplessly scouring the room for a sip of water--as were the other five inmates in the room.

somehow, after passport check at two or three am, i managed to accomplish something along the lines of sleep, only to be almost immediately woken up by the overseer of the sleeping cabin announcing our arrival in krakow. needless to say, after approximately an hour of searching the streets for our hostel, we spent half of the day sleeping again, this time soundlessly and well worth the price.

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