Saturday, January 26, 2013

My First Adventure

Sitting here in bed, and wondering what to write about. Which of my stories should I tell? Dare I tell some of the more scandalous ones? Will people understand that maybe going through it makes the stories worth it? But then I realized that if the people did not like my story, then by god, they could stop reading, shut down their computer, fuss about it, then go make themselves some tea and continue on with life as if nothing had happened. So, you may not like this story. You may call me reckless and stupid. You may be correct on that front, but never the less, I shall give you a story worth reading.
I had arrived in Salzburg on Saturday. The American's I am staying with, who are on this program also, and I went out for a brew or two. On Sunday, we went out again. Now it is Monday. I have been here for less than three full days. The lot of us (I believe there were eight, including me) went out to a pub called Shamrock's. It was a hopping place for being a Monday and I saw a guy with a "Misfits" tee-shirt on and wanted to see if it was about the show on telly that I enjoy. It is loud and crowded, the live music thumping its way into your body. I finagle my way through the crowd, and once I get to him I ask him what his shirt says. Although I am a wee bit tipsy at this point and forget that I am in a foreign country and do not speak the language. But we understand each other, because as most Europeans, he speaks a fair amount of English.  I then realize that no, his shirt is not what I thought it was, but rather a band. By this point he is just so happy that someone has recognized the band he starts to dance around. At one point he even gets down on his knees in praise. I can not in good conscience tell him that I have never heard this band in my life. So away I go, back to my friends for a little while longer. Later that evening we strike up a conversation about everything and nothing. It is around 23:00 or a little after and the buses are about to stop running, so instead of taking a taxi, our group decides to go home. As everyone is filling out, I go to say goodbye to my new friend. I make my way out of the bar, now alone and mostly drunk, I head off to find my friends. I start walking, the ice slick beneath my feet and snow gracing my eyelashes with weight. Hands in my pockets, wrapped around each other trying to stay warm, I still haven't found anybody. It has been a block, then two. I wasn't inside for this long? Where could they be? I'm following the river but I realize that I must have missed the bus stop. I remember this bridge, I believe that there is a bus stop on the other side that crosses back over. I make a turn and follow the walking path that is lined with streetlights. A runner goes past, lost in his own world. As I come back to the main street I see my bus! The only bad part of this is that it isn't stopping. I finally get to where it was suppose to stop and am thankful, I will just wait for the next bus and be home in no time. I look for when the next one is coming and there are no more. The one that passed me was the last bus. Off I go again. I may have to take a taxi, but I haven't passed any recently. I"m starting to get a little worried. I don't know how to walk home. Panic is trying to claw it's way up my throat, but I know that that will not help. I know that I must keep walking. The next bus I see, for they are getting fewer and farther in between, I shall get on and ask the bus driver if he can help me. Minutes and the scenery pass by. Finally  I see one. Not thinking to look at the number or destination, I just hop on. I ask the man where the bus is going. He says Polizedirektion, one stop away from where I live! I push my panic down. For now there is no need to worry until I get off the bus. I am the only passenger and the ride is going so much slower than I ever remember it taking. As the stop comes up, the bus gets ready to pull into the garage for the evening. I get off and thank the man profusely. He very possibly saved my life. I get off and now I only have a bus stop and the regular walk home to make. I walk it with pride and a growing sense of satisfaction that I refuse to fully feel until I pull open the door to my dorm. I have made it. 
I have accomplished something I never thought I would be able to do. Granted, a lot of it was luck, yet I am still proud. I successfully navigated a foreign city at night, alone while drunk when the last of the buses were running. Stupid? So very much. Dangerous? The though was running through my mind the entire time. A life lesson that could never happen again? Yes. Am I glad that it happened? Completely.
If this had never happened, I may still be to afraid of this city and depending on myself. But now I know, if I ever get lost, just do what I did and don't panic. Don't pull what I would have done a year ago. Keep your head down and keep walking until you can find someone to ask. 
Well, that was a bit lengthy, but I think it was a good parable. Tschuss, my friends, and don't do what I have done! Bis Später!

1 comment:

  1. Well I have never had that happen in a foreign country, but I know your feeling completely! This is of a younger person...say middle school age who missed the bus, who alone decided on a very cold winters day she would walk to school. Just a mere 3.72 miles! I am glad you got home safe and you kept your head!