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25 August 2011

Worst Train Ride Ever?

Day 66: Monday, 25 July 2011
Trip update. I'm traveling on a train from Stockholm to Göteborg (which is pronounced "yot-eh-boory", or you could just default to the English name, Gothenburg. I'm blasting through Sweden, only stopping in these two cities. I had thought that I might just casually hitchhike across Sweden, but time constraints ended up popping up: I just need to get to Berlin by the end of the week.

This morning, I was up and out by 7:15am. My train was at 07:44, so I got to the train station at 07:35 and rushed to get my ticket, but it wouldn't work. What the hell?! I went from store to store, asking for help, but they just sent me to another office. I thought I'd just board the train without a ticket, but right when I got to the platform, the train was pulling out.

So I missed my train. I returned to the main part of the station and used one of the automatic machines to get my ticket. Now, it worked! Great. Whatever - I'd just get on the next train, so I found the platform and went there. It had begun to rain, steady rain. The train was scheduled for 8:10, and then after a few minutes, a voice announced in Swedish that it was delayed to 8:25. Then it became 8:30, and then 8:35. The train finally arrived, I boarded, and it left at 8:43. Wow. Swedish efficiency? WTF!

I'm at the point where I just get things done, travel-wise, without feeling as excited about every small detail as I used to. I've just seen so much, it's really draining to maintain that level of energy all the time. It's just time for some down time, and unfortunately Sweden has been having lots of down time so far. People always rave about Sweden, but frankly, I really don't see it as such a paradise. Based on my couple of days here so far, I don't know if I'd want to live here. It wouldn't be bad, but Finland just seems so much better.

Many bad things have happened on this trip: I've broken my camera, left my laptop behind, lost my brand-new phone, and gotten countless cuts and scrapes; 2 pairs of sunglasses are gone. This morning, I missed my train because I couldn't get my tickets printed out. And the train I got on was delayed 15 minutes, then 25 minutes, then 30 minutes. And I didn't have any seat reservation, so as people boarded the train, I was kicked out of each seat I sat in. But what could I do about it? When I was younger, I might have become frustrated and angry in each situation. But that doesn't do anything about the situation. So I just let go of these things as soon as possible, and the worry and stress disappears with them.

That's the thing that I'm trying to learn on this trip, to stop worrying about situations I can't change.

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