31 May 2003 - On a ferry somewhere between Copenhagen and Hamburg
Even when I try to be organised...

Oh wow. The first real disaster of my own making this trip. I think tiredness has something to do with it - I was coping fairly well up to Ulan Batar and then pretty okay after that. Actually, it's a miracle that nothing bad has happened before this, given my propensity of being distracted by unimportant things.

I lost my left luggage card and only found out about it fifteen minutes before the train was due to leave. It was in the right-hand pocket of my 'flak jacket', which is where I put all the stuff I label "important" which I need ready access to. Well, it was in my right-hand pocket until I emptied it to organise it better. For some reason, I didn't recognise the card when I was cleaning up and relegated it to 'someone else's property' in the hostel dorm. I only realised my mistake when I saw somebody using the same card at the left luggage lockers. I would like to say that if I hadn't tried to organise the junk in my pockets, it wouldn't have been misplaced, which forms a rather convenient excuse for me to not ever clear out my pockets again.

Fifteen minutes is a lot of time if you can open your locker. It's not when you have to persuade a bureaucratic locker attendent to let you get your stuff.

It was quite easy to get him to open the locker, but then he closed it up again and told me that I had to fill up a form before I could get to my stuff.

Actually, it may have not been so bad if it was me who was filling up the form, but he insisted on doing it by refering to my details on my passport himself. It was then I found out he was short-sighted.

Once the form is filled in, he gives you another ticket and asks you to pay an additional DEK50 into the locker. This is after I had cunningly spent most of my Kr˘Ľnes in anticipation of leaving Denmark. I gave him EUR20, and got back in return some unknown number of notes and coins (which I later figured out to be DEK140, which is
pretty close to the actual exchange rate).

If you've never had to climb two sets of steps and run a hundred meters carrying four bags at the same time, let me tell you, it ain't so easy. It's a little bit harder if you're asthmatic. For the second time on this journey, I got a slight asthma attack. Fortunately, this time around I had the Ventolin. Wonderful stuff. Really, really works. Here, have some free advertising on me.

The story doesn't quite end there. The zipper on one of the bags broke in the rush and now I have a makeshift combination of shoulder and trolley bag.

Lesson learnt? Left luggage cards fall into the same category as passports when it comes to importance. Either that or, DON'T BOTHER CLEANING OUT MY POCKETS!


posted on Monday, June 09, 2003 - permalink
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