Sunday, February 5, 2012

aCroSs tHe pOnD ... it'S fRozeN

It's not even Monday yet, and I feel exhausted. Things don't look much different from across the pond. Except for the folks cycling away happily in snow. Are you ppl kidding me ? On the west side of the pond, ppl can barely drive for heaven's sake. No not even for their own mum's sake can they drive in snow. And kids ! Mind you kids are cycling away.
Snow covers the wast flatlands.

The canals are cute. And I catch glimpses of the amsterdam as I breeze right through in a train. My phone is stolen. So now I have to open my laptop to know the time. When did my phone replace everything else I own in my life ? Why is my phone now more needed than my own brain ?

Atleast I'm on the right train. After the kind ticketmaster gives me a ticket, and prints out the route,all in dutch mind you. thank you my good man. And I really can't understand him , I think he said platform 3, but turns out it was 2. and turns out he thought my Thursday was Tuesday and gave me the return ticket for the wrong day. My good man ! Please don't torture me today.

I ask these nice ppl for confirmation that I'm finally standing on the right platform. I was counting on my google translate and google maps. Both of which I don't have right now.

And they tell me to get on the next train with them. Well I did.

After a couple of stops I'm a little uneasy. My plan says I need to get off at 8:40. its 8:39 and I'm not at the right station. I'm fidgeting now.. Ready to panic any minute. Any minute now.

Luckily a conductor stops by. Aaah ! My good man, you can help me.

"hi, so is my stop [ I show him ] the next stop?"
"nope, your on the wrong train"
"yes your on the wrong train. This train doesn’t go to that stop."
"but …but.."
"you should check the time", he insists while his finger stabs my paper and he admonishes me with a.. with an admonishing look.. [ ok little lame ]
"but I did, this train came at the time printed on my plan !"
"oh the train was late", he shrugs
"but… but…"
 Aah! But you want to go to eindhoven. That is still possible. Get off in amsterdam central and take this train."
"The 8:46 ?"
"yes, you have 5 minutes to make it to platform 4b, maybe that train is late too….wait a minute this is not for today"
"yes pls check for today"
"ok you have a train at 9:08, you got plenty of time. "
"ok is there a name on the trains?"
He looks at me to see if I'm being sarcastic, I'm not ! I'm dead serious. How the fuck do you tell where the train is going? All the announcements are in dutch !
"you just ask somebody before you get on."
ok , my stop is here. I gotta go now. Nice friendly ppl in amsterdam.

I'm happy to see that there at least a few non-dutch folk waiting to go to eindhoven. they look about as perplexed as i do. infact i notice a couple of dutch speaking natives looking perplexed. let me just follow the black guy.. i mean african american who seems to be heading to eindhoven too... wait a minute. what if he's following me ??

Thanks to yesterday's fiasco, I have no idea how I'll get to my hotel when I get off in eindhoven. I have a vague idea of seeing the map 2 days ago. Someone said the hotel was just 2 blocks away. Luckily its only -4C and my face only feels like a few hundred needles are poking it.

I guess I'll be fine. I have the whole day to reach my hotel. Just a wee bit hungry that's all. But thanks to my unplanned route across amsterdam city, I did get a glimpse of the canals. The tiny dutch houses. Couple of windmills. Lot of barge like structures stuck in the frozen water. Cobbled stone roads,  which looked too narrow to let a standard car through ..
Looks like an awesome place to visit in summer.