When I first looked at the map showing the hotel where my mother and her friend would be arriving to shortly, it looked like a roughly 10 minute walk. Plus my orientation skills are usually on par with an in-built GPS and I manage to find my way to where I need to go even if I think I’m wandering around totally lost. Maps, however, are flat. Occasionally for that very reason they also end up lying.
I headed the needed direction from the metro but at a certain point encountered an obstacle: train tracks. that kind you cannot actually cross. I walked along them to find a crossing and found my way to within about 100 meters (the part I wasn’t aware of…) from the destination on one side of the highway. There was no sidewalk on that side, and I needed the other side anyway. Crossing without anywhere to lawfully do it, however, would equate to an almost certain death, so I walked under the highway bridge to its other side. Weirdly enough, there was no way to go back up onto the highway on that other side, while in the direction of where I (correctly) presumed the destination has been there were a bunch of trees and possible diverging train tracks yet again.
At this point my mom texted me that they will be arriving shortly…
Fine, thought I, I’d just go around. So I did – but kept banging into the train tracks. Finally, after full 40 minutes I gave up on that and decided to walk all the way around and approach the secret target from the opposite direction. At one point, I took a tram across the darn train tracks, but by then I was so tired of walking in circles I just called a cab. Poor lad arrived all the way from across the city and we drove back to that bloody highway bridge, then turned right… Basically, the hotel was about 500 meters from where I was waiting for the cab, and his GPS took us an extra 5km around – those same ones I had previously hiked the hell out of. Poor mom an her friend, hungry from the road, were by then waiting for more than 1.5 hours for me to show up… The taxi driver said that part of the city was basically a Bermuda Triangle because of the scattered train tracks and the hill, and he was surprised as well to discover the hotel.
Family finally reunited, we hopped onto the bus to search for food and found great Chinese place that was open – right in time to reach safety before the flooding downpour that came about a few minutes later.
They have arrived for my graduation ceremony 2 days later. This is how it went:
Early in the morning (or late at night) before the graduation, after having packed my suitcase, I realized sleeping isn’t something my mind and body were into. I decided to give a try to the Desigual store that promised the first 100 people to walk inside the store in their underwear to let them walk out with 2 pieces of clothing for free. Despite it being probably the coldest day that week, there were plenty of people waiting even from the night before! At the opening, turned out that the little crowd at the front was actually made up of 100 people, but at least I got a very handy big bag :).
Since that didn’t work, I went to the bank and around the few shops already open. At 10am we met up with mom and her friend, strolled around, bought some crazy colored socks and then I went home to get ready. By 2pm I was at the Zofin Palace for the rehearsal. At 3 I went to meet my dear guests, who had forgotten their invitations. Fortunately, this was solved and here came the ceremony.
At this point I would like to mention that I was not sure I would have the time to actually officially receive my diploma… The ceremony was long and I had to leave to the main train station before 6.30pm… But I made it! So, having grabbed the diploma, made a few silly faces to the photographer and gotten offstage, I didn’t go back to my seat but escaped the hall.
Congratulations and a few pictures later, I’ve managed to find my flatmate (who brought a few things to me I forgot and in exchange received my graduation gown and everything else). Then we all walked to the tram stop, said bye-byes and I made it just in time to the station to hop onto the bus heading to Croatia to arrive there 12 hours later… Why and how I ended up running off to Croatia on my graduation day is, however, a whole other story…