January 2, 2006
More adventure than getting the wrong order at Burger King.
I spent a few days after Christmas in a neighboring country for a little vacation. I didn’t understand the language and I couldn’t even read the language because they don’t use the latin script. It was quite and adventure and quite relaxing and fun. However, the adventure part won out when we missed our train, or at least half of us missed the train. There we stood (half of us), at the train station wondering where our train had went that was there about an hour ago. After trying to figure out where it had went the other half of our group had gotten off the train at the next stop and taken a taxi back to the train station. We then decided that we’d try to head the train off at the pass (actually “pass” should read ‘border’ but it sounded way cooler that way). So we jumped into two taxi’s and were off. **Note—when you have to speak a foreign language everything is twice as stressful, twice as hard and twice as long. So everything that sounds easy and quick…..was not.** Little did we know that the one taxi did not run on normal fuel, like the rest of the world, but ran off of propane and it was low. So while the one taxi went to the armed and heavily guarded propane station way out in the middle of nowhere and had to get out of the car while they fueled up because propane is highly explosive and volatile, the other taxi sped to the border. I was in the taxi that got to the border first, and there sat our train. Now all that needed to happen was for the other taxi to arrive. I had in my brain to stop that train at all costs even if it meant throwing myself in front of it (maybe not myself but I could have drawn a stupid mustache on my face and tied one of the girls on the tracks). Well it worked, for at least twenty minutes but our friends had still yet to show up. What we found out later was after they visited the armed propane station they proceeded to go to the wrong border crossing. Back at our border the train left and there five of us were left, two young teenagers, two girls, and myself, standing with our bags looking like helpless orphans. The next scene was something straight from a movie, the border officials, whose average age was probably about thirty, invited us into their ‘offices’ and we talked and drank and listened to music. Actually we only did the first and the last but the nationals filled in the gap. For an hour this carried on and we even got some email addresses out of it and a picture. Finally our other half came and we decided to make our way back to the city for another nights stay. We did make it out of the country on the following day and spent New Years on an old Soviet Train. It will definitely be a memorable New Years. (Almost as memorable as last years New Year celebration Julie!,,,which was spent in Wal-Mart!)