The terminal20 Dec 2011
I rarely talk about my life here, partly for privacy reasons, also because I don’t care reading such articles when I visit someone’s website and I assume most people don’t. The only reason I need to write is that I have to stay awoken for a while and writing here will keep my mind occupied.
From Kista to Skavsta
Having left Kista Alléaväg at 15:10, it was almost night but not totally because of the snow: darkness doesn’t belong here even in the middle of the night, the lights of the city are reflecting the falling snow resulting in a dark orange sky. Streets are empty, we are Sunday and most people decided that it was better not to fight with the cold wind today. But there I am, in this strange atmosphere, with my 15kg luggage and my laptop’s bag, moving in the dunes of snow like a Fremen (hopefully not for too long). I arrive at the station of Kista and take a metro in direction of the center of Stockholm. 30 minutes later, I’m in the caves of T-Centralen, and go to the place where buses are going to airports. T-Centralen is a big place, with many entrances, trains, buses and snacks everywhere. It reminds me Charle de Gaulle’s station in Paris, without the sound of hobos playing music.
I hadn’t checked for departures time and I have to wait for almost three hours to get a bus to go to Skavsta. Neverwind, I was fearing not to find any buses because of the snow, waiting 3 hours here or at the airport won’t affect me more. T-Centralen is crowded, but much less than other days. I already had my ticket for the bus so I find an empty bench and start reading for a while. At 19:00 I’m in the bus for one hour and a half, I try hard to sleep without success. The night is going to be long…
The terminal 1
20:30, I’m in the terminal and have to wait for about 11 hours before my flight to Paris at 7:25. I have some books to read, but I quickly give up and start to code a few stuff with coffee and a salad that worth one tenth of what I’ve paid (I guess its price is a constant in all airports). Time keeps on going slowly. I use to switch from reading and coding without any goal: next time I’ll try to prepare real stuff to do, but I don’t have Internet for now so I can’t find something useful. At 3:30, I decide to walk for a while and have a look at some screen that are in the main entrance. “Paris beauvais - 7h25: Cancelled”. Fuck.
I still have some hope, maybe the flight will be derived to Lille or something. Now I have to wait 2 hours before the opening of the desk. I don’t remember what happened during this lap of time, maybe I’ve made something awful that my subconscious wants me to forget. 5:30, finally someone to talk to. To sum up: I have to wait 24 hours for another flight to Paris. I’m so borred and tired that my expression might be not far from the one of a vegetable in a micro wave with some aluminium foil. I don’t have much money to stay here, the guy’s told me that everything would be refunded, but I guess my train in Paris wont. I have to go back home. Hopefully buses are really well organized here, I only have to wait for less than half an hour to be in one. The bus is really warm, and I’m thinking of the cold room that is waiting for me (I shutted down the electricity before leaving, which was perfectly making sense then), that’s probably the reason that kept me awoken.
Back to square one
It’s 7:30 and I’m in T-Centralen, the crowd of people happy to take a flight to enjoy xmas with their family has been replaced by commuters going to work. I really don’t belong here, I’m a zombie in the middle of fresh and enthousiastic people. I’m totally demotivated, empty of any emotion. Kista, finally. I don’t know what could be worse at that point: even if something really bad happened, I wouldn’t have any reaction. As expected, I take a cold shower, buy new tickets for the train, and for the bus. I go to the university to print them, and decide that it could be a good idea to eat something even if I’m not hungry. I don’t have food in the appartment, I had prepared everything for this departure and scheduled the necessary amount of food to survive before the trip. So I go to Mac Donalds, for the first time in the last three months. This time I’ll try to take a night bus, I don’t think I’ll survive another night like this, considering the trains that I have to take once in France. I’m so tired now that I can easily resynchronize (or so I hope).
The terminal 2
2:00 AM, I wake up after a one hour snap, I go to the metro station which is closed… Fortunately, there’s a bus going to T-Centralen in 3 minutes, I run to take it and I feel very lucky once in it: there’s one bus like this per hour, my adventure could have stopped here. In the bus, I meet 3 Indians from KTH who are also going to Paris and are in the same flight. We arrive at T-Centralen at 3:30, where a huge line is waiting for buses going to Skasta. We have to wait for about 45 minutes before being in a bus, I really hope that the bus wont be delayed because of the snow: the flight is at 7:15, and because of my luggage, I have to be there before 6:30, so if there is a huge line, I’ll miss it.
Murphy’s law: there’s a traffic jam before a bridge, and the bus has to wait. Hopefully, 15 long minutes later, the jam is opening. We arrive at the airport at 6:05, it’s crowded, and many buses are arriving, so I rush with my luggage in a line to drop my bag. 5 minutes later, the line is ten times its original size: and here again I feel very lucky as I only have to wait for about 20 minutes. Then, there’s a long line for the security check, but it seems to be very effective and fast, 30 minutes later, I’m in front of the gate. The flight seems to be a little delayed, I’m really fearing to see it cancelled. 20 minutes later, I’m in the plane, not far from a 2-years old kid that is really over-angry, I won’t be able to sleep. The flight is being prepared to fight against snow with some strange liquid ; one hour later, the flight takes off and I’m relieved :-).
It’s not cold, there’s some snow but far less than in Sweden. The airport is quite far from Paris (Paris Beauvais), and I take a bus with one of the Indian guy and with a Brazilian guy who is here for christmas. I help him with some french words which he’ll need during his trip (“Please”, “Thanks”, and “I can haz beer” :-)). At 13:00, we are in the center of Paris (Porte Maillot), from there I have to take a RER and a metro to go to Montparnasse. I had forgotten the ambiance in the metros and RERs, and strangely I feel a bit nostalgic. The end of the trip is without suprises, 4 hours of train and I’m home at half past 19, more than 50 hours after my original departure.