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Friday, September 18, 2015

MY LIFE IS NON FICTION...SORT OF...

MY JOURNEY TO SLOUGH

Apologies if this seems a bit punchy.  Due to a long layover, and a Starbucks, I decided to make a 'blog on the road' without sufficient alcohol.  Harsh, I know.  But I'll try to describe what's happened thus far.

Without going into detail, for personal reasons my buddy had to cancel the whole Belgium thing the day before it kicked off.

Whenever Logan thinks life is going along too easily, the universe opens it giant butt cheeks above him.

Normally, I would not wish to intrude upon my friend and his family at such a personal vulnerable time but there are three factors which make it completely necessary.

I'd already bought my plane ticket to Asia and need a place to stay until that kicks off.

I need to visit with my buddy who I've not seen in years.

And lastly, he has the debit card that I had sent to him from the states at great expense.  Need that as my only other one is getting set to expire soon.

Hence, it is very necessary to get together with him.  But he needs to stay home.

"If Mohammed won't to the mountain, the mountain must come to Mohammed."  (Yes, I did just quote Francis Bacon from 1625 in my blog.  Fear not, I'll be drunk in a few hours.)

That saying was probably a lot more popular before the rise of militant Islam...

Anyway,

So I spent a hellish few hours alternatively whining on Facebook and trying to do research before I found what seems to be a workable solution.

After I get to Bruge, take the train immediately onward to Brussels.  From there get a bus to London.  By doing it that way, I can book a round trip from Brussels ~ London since I already know what date I'm flying out.

Groovy.

Getting around in Europe isn't really that complicated.  It just takes money.  Unfortunately, you start having stupid thoughts like "It's only 50 EUR to go over here while forgetting that it is only a few hundred to switch continents.

So my initial plan of 'get to Bruge' (childhood home of Dr. Evil) was still in tact.  My friend Hen checks her phone with the frequency of an addict told me that apparently someone had gone crazy at the train station and locked themselves into a bathroom.

Normally, this would not have been a big deal except that a couple weeks ago, some fool tried to blow up a train station here.

Hence, they closed down the entire train station of the city I was going to.  Lots of hard looking police with assault rifles ran around justifying their existence.   Could it get worse?  (Yes, later it did.)  Hence, it was time to find another way there.

And I had a plethora of trains to catch.

Plethora!

I'm on the ultra modern train reading the wall display telling what stations we were coming to and when and the conductor comes to me.  "There may be trouble further along."  The police and toilets sort of thing.

At this point, I began making bad toilet puns.  "It's a shitty situation."  "Hope the guy locked into the bathroom decides to shit or get off the pot."  That sort of thing.  I strung them along, one after another until he and the surrounding people started laughing.

"If everyone gets off the train, you need to as well.  Find me, I'll point you in the right direction."  I thanked the conductor and off he went.

Fortunately, a reporter and his wife decided to adopt me at this point.

Once there is any sort of emergency going on, the nifty multi-lingual announcements suddenly end.  People are panicky creatures and will resort to their native language and none other.  So it was very nice of these folks to take me under their wings.

We switched trains a time or two until we got to one that they told me they'd have to leave me at.  There will be a two hour lay over till the next train and we're going into town they said.

Cool.  I can hang out for a couple hours.

At this point, I got the bright idea of attempting to cash in on the chaos Netherlands rail was going through.  Instead of going all the way to Bruges, why not head to Brussels from here?  The nice Netherlands couple said it was so and even wrote down how to do it.

Off to the ticket counter.

Ah, the train the nice couple was expecting has been cancelled.  So has the train I was thinking about taking.  Super.

But, the clever lady came up with another alternative route and printed me out an itinerary.   Will it cost extra?  No - because Netherlands is one of the few places you are traveling within a zone - rather than on specific trains and such.  Since it is a shorter ride, no extra money.

Groovy.

After that, I met a very bubbly interesting ex-hippy from Italy.  She is fluent in a half dozen languages and pretty darned interesting.  We chatted and since she speaks Dutch, she took over the 'guide Logan' duty.

Everything was fine until some guy committed suicide just outside of Brussels on the train tracks.

I can't make this shit up.

The train stopped minutes from my final destination and the alarm went off repeatedly.  Nobody knew nothing.  Eventually, the crowd decided to switch to another train.

After a few minutes, the crowd decided to reboard the original train.

No clue at all why this is.  It is weird.

On the original train, we eventually made our way the few minutes into the Brussels station.

The European lady (I call her that because she's lived in lots of places within Europe) bid me goodbye and I drifted around till I found the Eurolines bus station.  Fortunately, this is connected to the train station.  Convenient.

After a mildly disappointing twenty euro lunch/dinner/only food I've had all day, it was time to begin enduring my several hours of downtime.

And that's how you got this blog.

The next step will be to catch the Eurolines bus (yes, I did double check to make sure this is where I need to be) and somehow get to England.  The people on the train didn't see how it could be done and showing them the tickets just confused them.

Wish me luck!



VIDEOS

Warning:  None of these videos is long enough to masturbate to.

Ambulance driving by - just for the sound of it's siren.
Mysteries Of The Universe - trailer for a new show by Logan.
Train station - a quick video of the train station in Groningen, Netherlands as it's pretty kicking.

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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster

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