Go West, Young Man

I’m a lucky man.  I sit in a nice hotel, sipping a beer, with a train ticket for a ride back home scheduled for just over 24 hours from now.  Granted, I won’t get there for another 36 hours after that but I’m still lucky.  Considering the week of volcanoes, earthquakes and flights that didn’t make it that has just passed – I’m doing alright.

It has been a pretty amazing 36 hours, or so.  My original flight was on until I was about 30 minutes from leaving for the airport.  After that, I called every rental car company in Ukraine and they either weren’t open, didn’t have cars, or wouldn’t rent one going to the Czech Republic.  So, I shifted plans and trotted over to the travel agency this afternoon with our (beloved) local contractor.  After about an hour in line and the requisite Eastern European cutting in line and deal making, I got a ticket.  $200.  Cash.  Sleeper car.  No transfers. 36 hours.  Now, you may understand why I’m one of the lucky ones.

With lines for train tickets in Western Europe stretching into 5 and 6 hours, my day was an easy one.  I’m a little bit apprehensive about the journey, but at least I have plans to go west.  I just hit the supermarket and bought water, crackers, granola, jamón serrano (!) and some pistachios.  I’m hoping they’ll have some booze on the train or maybe I’ll get a chance to get a flask of something tomorrow before departure.

I hope it all works out as planned.  If I’m lucky, I’ll arrive a somewhat young man.  What could possibly go wrong?

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