Saturday, July 5, 2008

DISASTER AND DESTRUCTION - THE PERILS OF LIFE ON THE ROAD

On Wednesday, July 2nd, 22:30 (that's 10:30 PM in US language) we arrived in Krakow, Poland with our luggage. While that may not seem like much of an accomplishment, we certainly considered it to be one. Our airline was CentralWings, one of the low budget airlines of Europe. Like many airlines these days, it is on the brink of bankruptcy. Even before we left we had heard of their cancelling many of their flights without any rescheduling. We had no idea if we were going to be in Krakow that night or on the benches of Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. We had also heard that these low budget airlines are notorious for losing luggage! Now you see why we felt victorious as we walked out of John Paul II Airport in Krakow, Poland.

But how quickly the sweet taste of victory can turn sour. We arrived at our apartment at 23:30 where our Natasja graciously met us at that late hour to give us the key. It was at this time that we discovered that our apartment was on the 5th floor with no lift! As inconvenient as it might be, understand that we can handle a five story walkup several times a day. The problem is that my mother, who is 77 years old is coming to visit with us for a week while we are here in Krakow! Five stories is pretty much an impossibility. I didn't sleep at all that night as I tried to figure out our alternatives. What a disaster!

Early the next morning found me on the computer frantically searching for a new apartment that might be available at the last minute in the height of tourist season in one of the most popular tourist destinations of Poland. I found one! Not available immediately, but at least before my mother arrived. I also contacted our landlord to see if they might have anything else available for us. After much negotiation, our landloard agreed to move us to another apartment which is on the first floor (and just happens to have been our second choice when we were first looking) the day before my mother arrives. At this point it is about letting go and trusting that they will keep their word. In the meantime, we are enjoying our five story walk up with a wonderful garden terrace and a view of the Wisla River. At least for the next five days we can eat whatever we want as we work it off several times a day doing our five flights of stairs.

Our penthouse apartment comes complete with a computer and internet access -- terribly convenient! We did however, want to use our laptop to manage our photos. Trying to use the laptop under these circumstances lead to the destruction of our computer's hard drive. In simple words, our wonderful computer and link to the outside world has crashed! And if you know anything about Marty and I, you know that we are not computer literate. Marty spent three - four hours on the apartment's computer e-mailing my brother-in-law trying to repair the hard drive(Thank you Nathan), but no luck. Since this occurred on Friday night and any place that could possibly repair this thing is closed on Saturday and Sunday, it's time to let go of it for now. Marty has stayed very calm, which if you know Marty and the fits he can throw when things don't work out, is a HUGE accomplishment! (Thank you Marty, I love you dearly). We feel grateful that this occurred when we have easy access to another computer and when we are at the beginning of a stay in a country so that we have time to hopefully take care of this before having to move on. Having a computer has been wonderful but it does come with it's drawbacks.

If you think that life on the road is going to eliminate your problems and reduce your stress, guess again! You just have different problems and different stressors and this time, they are all in Polish!

2 comments:

jason.bayer said...

Wow! Interesting post... everything seemed too smooth to be true over in The Netherlands. Glad to hear that you guys are able to work through these issues calmly when the bumps in the road pop up. Looks like reading the Eckhart Tolle is paying off for Marty! I'll leave you with this Zen saying: "The snow falls, each flake in its appropriate place." All the Best!

dryanna said...

Bummer about the computer, but good going on the apartment switch. Good travel descriptions, it's fun to travel through you all.