Day 2 of my quest to make it back to idealic Scandinavian territories and I am back at Budapest airport today, sitting, waiting, wishing. The flights were all canceled yesterday and we are waiting word on todays flights. Dont they know how important I am and I MUST make it back today. Yes.
I think for every story of woe to come out of the ash cloud, there will be atleast 2 more of people having fantastic adventures and doing things they never would have tried before. Thats awesome. Unless someone is going to die if you don’t make it home, do you really need to get home so quickly? I say this as I anxiously reload the Helsinki airport page and I look across from me and I see a well dressed middle aged man doing the same thing on his laptop.
Even though I still keep a hectic schedule of travel, its mostly around the Nordics where, almost religiously, stuff works and runs to time, that’s your 50% tax kronor at work. I was starting to think travel in Europe is a bit dull, kind of been there done that but being stuck here has relit the Eurotrip2006 flame inside of me, thousands of people all over the continent, all trying to make it somewhere, all helping each other anyway they can. Last night I was helped by two Finnish friends of Pirjo who also happened to be stuck in Budapest. Not only did they graciously let me stay in their apartment, we went out to some mega trendy Budapest bars and had a great night. Never would have happened otherwise. Today I was lost for a way to get to the airport and not get ripped off by taxi drivers, so I went for a coffee in a small cafe and asked the owner. Turns out he knows a taxi driver and called him right away, got me to the airport for way less than any other taxi would have. Thats cool and the spirit of Eurotrip, random connections leading to new adventures. love it.
It can never quite be like the old days though as the internet has changed anything. There’s not really a need for me to be at the airport, I could just be checking the status page on the web but I feel better here, like Im doing something. Or how about my fancy Finnish mobile phone which I have 3G internet, anywhere I am I can load up Hostelworld, find a place to stay, book it and then use the built in GPS to direct me right to the door. Shit, you can never be lost and its a far cry from 3 Australian boofheads who used to drive around a town for hours, not having anywhere to stay only to end up sleeping in the back of their large white Volvo. Also the network of friends across Europe is much larger than it was in the old days so now, there is always someone you know not too far away and if theres not, put the word out on facebook and you’ll get a sweet hook up.
So who knows whats next? If I dont make it out tonight Ill call Daniel and it will be another night on the town in Budapest. This is a really cool city, very cosmopolitan, got a central europe, Vienna vibe. I hope this ash clouds produces a slew of travel books and blogs from people who will tell of their adventures and the random friends they made along the way. Maybe the planes will never fly again? I dont think Ill mind too much, Ill just prep the Volvo for a drive back to Australia one day.
He was the co-founder of Comedy Estonia, Comedy Finland and Comedy Latvia. Louis writes, does gigs and performs at private events through the Baltics and Finland