Trouble’s Travels Volume I: Getting To Poland – 30 Hours Of Delays, Kissing-Ass, And Getting Drunk In Airports
Previously in my series of posts about my Europe ’14 trip: Trouble Returns From Travels
Holly dropped me off at the airport with a look of sadness on her face, in which I reminded her that the next time I saw her we would be touching down in New York City. That brightened things up for her.
I walked into the airport with the biggest smile on my face. Most of the nerves had faded away at this point, and I was ready to begin the trek to Poland. I breezed through security, since I qualify for the “TSA Pre-Screened” crowd, meaning I basically skip security. Apparently, this blog and my new website aren’t enough for the government to think I’m a risk for hi-jacking a plane.
Once through security, I decided it would be appropriate to consume the first of many-to-be alcoholic beverages:
The flight from San Diego to Washington D.C. was entirely uneventful. Well, except for the lady who cried on my shoulder because her sister had just suffered a stroke.
The same could be said about my flight from Washington D.C. to Frankfurt, Germany. It was in Germany that the shit-show began. About 30 minutes before we were due to land, the flight attendants announced that there was an airport strike in Germany that day. About 95% of outbound flights were cancelled, and we were one of only a dozen flights coming in that day.
Getting out of the airplane and into an empty airport was one of the most bizarre things that I had ever seen in my life.
After speaking to the Lufthansa Airlines representatives, I was told I really had no way to get to Wroclaw, Poland, that day. Lucky Lothario (my previous adventure in San Diego with him is here) had already touched down and was awaiting my arrival. On top of that, I was told I was going to have to get a hotel, but that they would NOT release my baggage to me. I was going to be stuck in a hotel in Germany, with no change of clothes or other basic hygienic items. Keep in mind, too, this is my first time out of the USA, besides a trip to the Bahamas (hardly foreign). I’m going around trying to get help, and the Lufthansa reps were just giving me the jerk-around. I was re-directed to a different “specialist” at least ten times.
I really can’t say enough about how shitty of an airline Lufthansa is.
Finally, I found a nice lady and charmed her into at least releasing my bags to me. So began my adventure to find a hotel. Except, I finally found the United Airlines counter, and, after some more ass-kissing, convinced them to get me on a flight to Warsaw, Poland, which I would then transfer to Wroclaw. Only about six hours behind schedule.
Except, at that point it was about 12:55 and the flight was due to take off at about 1:15. I started to run towards security, since I had to go through it again since I had left the gates. It was then a realization hit me – my bags were already released.
I sprint back to the counter and explain the situation. They make a few phone calls and tell me that my luggage will make it to Wroclaw. Not completely convinced, but with little choice, I begin my rush through the Frankfurt Airport. I make it just in time, at about 1:10.
Once landing in Warsaw, I decided a fucking drink was in order. So I bought some cheap Polish beer at the airport; which cost me about…$1. Yeah, really.
Finally, I touched down in Wroclaw, some 27-30 hours since taking off from San Diego. I don’t remember the exact math. I’m able to find bus 149, which is supposed to take me to Wroclaw’s main square. After some slight panicking about how to get a proper ticket, I figured it out and was on my way. I didn’t get to see the scenery going in or out of Wroclaw from the airport (leaving is another hilarious story), but from the bits I did manage to glimpse, it doesn’t look like I missed much.
I got off on what I thought was the proper stop, and had fleeting WiFi service. I managed to get a text from Lucky telling me to let him know when I was on the way, and that he would meet me at the bus stop. Except, I had no way to text him back. Fuck me, right? I wandered around the entire Wroclaw Square, which was absolutely gorgeous. I’m asking all of these girls, who are trying to get me into a strip club, on where the hell this apartment is. None of them are particularly helpful, but they are sure to remind me how many beautiful girls are in their respective clubs.
Finally, after about a lap and a half around Wroclaw’s market square (which is about a half-mile loop), I find the address of our apartment.
Of course, I still have no way to contact Lucky so I can get in. I thought he may have gone out anyway, since it was past 10pm. I walked to a coffee shop, tried to get WiFi, no avail. I trekked my way back to the apartment, and was preparing to just start yelling for Lucky, when low and behold, the door opens.
And there’s Lucky.
Finally. I’d made it. I was done with airlines and shitty food. The real fun was about to begin. Things got better:
Make sure you check back tomorrow for Trouble’s Travels Volume II: The First Night In Poland, Selling Strip Club Tickets