Riding In A Modern Carriage

Our bus - not quite the carriages that Bram Stoker wrote about, but it was close enough. (click to see larger)Exactly one week ago I was throwing stuff into my backpack.  Some people are the type who plan ahead, but I don’t seem to be one of them.  I didn’t go to sleep until after midnight, and I had to leave before 6 A.M.

It wasn’t all bad, though.  Not only did I have a good Hungarian meal the night before I left, but I also didn’t forget anything – at least anything that I needed.  That’s the benefit of being used to packing at the absolute last second.

Even though I woke up in time last Friday, I had to run to the train station.  That’s not an expression, I didn’t walk, I ran to the train station.  I got on the train covered in sweat and sunk into my seat.  Normally I feel bad cramming into a public place if I’m smelly or gross, but I’d just showered and Hungarian trains tend to smell like cat pee.  I’ve never seen a cat on one of them, but I suppose they ride them late at night, after all, cats are nocturnal.

Are you familiar with Murphy’s Law?  “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”  In Hungary, it could be said that “any train that could be late [all of them] will be late.”  Between these two laws, I was skeptical about my ability to meet my group in time.  A bus was arriving in Debrecen (northern Hungary), and my train (with a change) would get me there 8 minutes before the scheduled arrival time.

Two scenarios were imagined for my imminent late arrival.  First, a bus full of angry people would be sitting in front of the Debrecen train station.  They would all be fuming that I made them wait five hours, and the next 6 days of living in close quarters with them would be a waking nightmare.  Second, the other possibility, was that the bus would leave without me.  I would hop on a train to Transylvania that would lead me to follow a series of notes and clues to the location of my group.  After days of travel through an enchanting land, Dracula would win the fight and I’d never be heard from again.

Modern day couldn't escape the past. The story of this cow is for another day... (click to see larger)Fortunately, “two wrongs don’t make a right”.  The logic of this old saying suggests that “two Murphy’s Laws cancel each other out”.  The train was on time, and I arrived in Debrecen 8 minutes before I needed to be there.  The ironic part?  The bus was late.

When the bus finally arrived, I crammed into it with 13 other teachers, the organizer of the trip, the tour guide, and the angry driver.

Off we went to Transylvania.

To be continued…

(I’ve always wanted to say that).


Hungarian word of the day:


Pronounced PEEL-on-go.  It means “butterfly”.  Why am I talking about this?  I’m not really sure.  The waitress at the restaurant I frequent was trying to tell me something.  It involved a butterfly, a girl, and nighttime.  It was very mysterious, and it’s still a mystery to me…