If I could I would have slept longer this morning. Alas, a long journey awaits. What a journey it proved to be. In the morning there was just enough time to catch a quick bite and a shower before jumping into the car for the drive towards the airport.
On the way there my uncle and I continued our conversation about history and how things have evolved over time here in Poland. We were talking about the narrow winding roads that criss cross the area. We talked about how there are more and more cars on the road and that there isn’t any space in which to fit them all. In the old part of town where are more cars going to park? How are the people going to get from pint a to point b? We have both observed that Poland is more than a few decades behind developing its infrastructure. All those years under communist rule and being pillaged by Russia have left it trying to catch up. There are positives now that have developed. Modernization is slowly becoming a reality in some parts but there are parts of the country where there is a high unemployment rate. Parts that have really been affected and left behind in the process.
As we talked about this and I felt the remands of yesterday’s celebrations clearing themselves from my system. I need a coffee at the airport. It was a nice sunny morning. They could have used this kind of weather at the wedding yesterday. Partially cloudy with bright sunny spells. These contrasting moods really enhance the festivities. It is more reflective of the kind of pattern that life takes. Sunny spells are those moments that we live for and those cloudy days are the ones we endure.
We hugged goodbye and I felt the appreciation that my uncle had for the time we spent together. I really appreciate his generosity and enjoy his company. His wife isn’t in the best of health and she wouldn’t of have lasted at the wedding. He however I think enjoyed the little adventure that we had. The airport drop off point is always a bit busy. For a ten minute visit one doesn’t have to pay anything. It is essentially a quick grab your bags and hug or kiss goodbye and off you go.
This airport has changed over the past many years. It has grown and the new facade is actually quite striking. The front appears as if the glass was leaning towards you. The reflection is great as it makes the place look a bit surreal. Once I had my coffee I stood outside there enjoying the view watching as others perform a simmilar goodbye to the one I had. There was just enough time to finish the coffee and then it’s through the security gates to get to my flight. I made sure to pack just one bag for the trip. Getting through the security gate and finding my way to the duty free to pick up some cheap darts. I needed to risk the extra carton.
As my sleep and general state was still not quite there I managed to stand in the line up for a different plane. Luckily they check these things before you board. I felt kind of foolish as the attendant told me that I was in the wrong line up. I swore to myself and quickly panicked a bit before finding the right plane. I had to pass through border control and the gate was at the other end of the airport. How did I manage to mess up like that? Not to worry I did make my flight.
The flight itself was nice but I had to purchase some food to tie me over. Not much of a selection on this flight. I tried to sleep a bit but mostly I stared at the cushion ahead of me and tried to write. The problem was that I was running low on juice in my phone. My extra external battery was drained and there wasn’t anything to plug into. Judging from the trains that brought me to Liverpool there wouldn’t be any chance to charge the phone anywhere along the way back either. It was a frustrating time.
It was a really smooth landing until it came time to exit the airport. Upon landing and reaching passport control the line up to pass was quite extensive. We were dutifully informed by one of the airport security guys that five planes have landed within a short span of time and the guards on duty are overwhelmed. This announcement was of little solace as we slowly snaked our way through. There was quite a lot of people all trying to get through. At one of the turns the heater was blowing fiercely hot air downwards. It was uncomfortable to stand directly underneath it. People had this resigned expression on their faces as we all trudged in unison like a centipede. This appeared to be the norm for anyone traveling through this airport. I wanted to try it out not really knowing what I was getting myself into.
I grabbed another coffee and found the right stop for the bus to take me to my destination. I had to get to the same train station that I got off of on my way here. It was a nice bus ride although I kept thinking about how convoluted this route was getting to the train station. In retrospect this route as it snakes it’s way through the business park picks up a lot of different people from the places that surround the airport. There was this shiny globe that I wish I could have taken a picture of up close. I wasn’t going to stop just for that however.
Once at the station I realized just how bad travel back was going to be. There were engineering works outside of Manchester. This prevented trains from the west having access to Piccadilly Station. I didn’t know this yet as I looked helplessly at the timetable up at the station. There wasn’t enough time to run through the station after any of the trains. Besides nature decided to make a call. Nature may have to be appeased inside a public cubicle. Last night’s festivities were marching through my bowels. There was no obvious sign pointing to the right place. Surprising kind of as this is such a large station from the outside. There is a big bus depot here with many stations and six lines of track running through. I finally asked an attendant to point me in the right direction.
“It’s right there.”
She pointed to a corner.
“Ah… OK.” I still felt puzzled as I walked in the direction she motioned me too. The sign indicated that there should be an entrance to a water closet but there is no handle just a steel door. It must slide in somehow. I notice in a recess way off to the left something that looks like buttons and a sign with writing on it. They were instructions and inormation on how to open the door. Just press the button and the door should open. It did! I walked into a cubicle with a steel throne and no seat.
“Disgusting” I thought to myself and Mother Nature yielded to my reaction. The procession stopped by the sheer sight before me. How could such a new station be so woefully inadequate in providing proper public facilities. I wanted to wash my hands and the water burst forth but the dryer would not respond to my frantic waving trying to activate it. I pressed the open the door button released in at least one dimension. The doors slid open and the woman standing accross from me opened her eyes wide most likely reading my face full of disgust at what I just went through. I walked away quickly as if in shame for what if she thought it was me that soiled the throne like that. She was quite rubinesque but her saving grace was the dress she was wearing. But she was the least one I was thinking off. It was older folk who would have a great difficulty in there.
I consulted the oracle outside focused now on getting back to Hull. I was getting hungry too. It was now mid afternoon but at least it was fairly warm. The sun played hide and seek throughout the hour that I had to wait until the next train. I would have to bus it from the last station into Manchester. I let the tiredness set in and focused on the music. The battery was getting dangerously low. I’m gonna buy a battery in Manchester. I’m also going to get something to eat.
The old train rumbled into the station along the empty track. It drowned out the guy scraping pavement stones to get rid of grasses and other foliage beginning to take hold. This was a different kind of train much older than the ones I’ve ridden before. The seats didn’t have enough leg room. People must have been really crammed in there on a packed train and to top it all of the row had three seats. We rumbled along a track I’ve never travelled down before. Industry surrounded older quainter neighbourhoods that have seen better days. At the final stop many of us filed out and walked toward the awaiting coach. It was plush inside of it and soon it too was taking a meandering way towards the motorway. We headed straight into dense traffic. Bernies description of the area reverberated in my ears. It’s an apt summary of the area as parts of the city and surrounding area have become delapitated through abandonment.
The coach couldn’t make it to Oxford station due to all the construction on the roads. They have gone to town improving what must have been really bad streets for them to have such extensive roadworks. This added inconvenience of having to walk an extra few blocks was just another feather in today’s cap of travel adventures.
Sidewalks were thick with people the closer I got to downtown. I was going to the mall to buy a battery as my phone was about to die. From all the available models I picked one with the highest capacity. The difference between this battery and my previous one has been the amount of charge it was able to hold. The model I picked came pre-charged. I also visited a computer shop to hold the new model phone I’ve been eyeing. It is still not in stock. I’m surprised that it is so difficult to buy. Are there really that many people buying them or do they genuinely have such a limited stock? Is it also a matter of this being some sort of marketing ploy to entice people to buy these phones?
I decided that I would like to have a bigger screen on my phone. This mobile technology thing is really becoming advanced. There is another model that piqued my interest. It would be interesting to use the other model but having invested so much time with one company it’s hard to change. I’d like to compare them side by side at the same time.
On my way to the station I stopped off for a quick snack at a greasy North American fast food outlet. It wasn’t that greasy actually but it sure was busy. One thing I have to give these outlets is that they are continually renewing the interior design. I could just imagine the color palate years ago and how the years would have faded the once vibrant colors dulling them dating hem to an era long ago when this was new and not as common as it is today. At least they are taking steps to innovate in order to stay ahead it is however just a fast food joint.
At the station there was just enough time to grab a cup for the road. As I approached the platform the train just arrived and emptied it’s load of passengers into the station. Security was busy trying to catch everyone’s proof of pavement as they were leaving. My ticket hasn’t been checked by anyone yet. I reached the front carriage and found a seat by the window. Soon as others began to fill the train seats ran out and a few had to stand. I’m glad I was able to buy that battery. There isn’t anywhere to plug in.
As the train pulled away the girl sitting next to me was saying “bye” and “I love you” to her boyfriend on the other line looking doe eyed on the platform as their eyes looked fondly at each other while the train pulled away. Soon she hung up and stared at her phone. I was conscious of her experience as I focused on my writing. Outside the view sometimes distracted my flow. The hills surrounding Manchester look spectacular as we rode the tracks east. I had a great view of the setting sun and the wonderful colorful sky that constantly shifted as we shifted in relation. I wish I was on this mountain with a big monument on top of it capturing the view both with my camera and my eyes. Maybe even with Chrl who herself was now on her way back from Thanksgiving back in Canada.
Darkness fell over the land as the train carried along the track stopping at major population centres along the way. As we stopped in Leeds a wave of inspiration instilled the thought of visiting the city sometime soon. It wouldn’t be long now until we are in Hull. The oracle told me that there would be a twenty minute wait for the bus back to the residence. I’ve resigned myself to as much As this is now my tenth hour traveling back or is it eleventh? I’ve changed time zones. There was another complication. I needed to buy food for the next day.
My decision in regards to this was simple I’d walk back from the residence after dropping off all of my baggage and bringing only what I needed. Some herbal relief would be welcome as would the nice walk there and back on a crisp autumn night. There is a shop in the village that will still be open. It was a nice walk I must admit. Sleep was also very welcome that night too.