I’m sure it’s happened to everyone. Whether commuting in a car or on public transport, you’ve suddenly found yourself nodding off and feel like you’re at the mercy of the Sandman. I succumbed to his mercy on a Friday. After a long week of work and dutifully meeting up with my friends for our weekly check in, I was on my way home. Mind you, I make this commute on this train line every day so I went onto autopilot, called a friend and settled into the 20-minute train ride. Unexpectedly, I looked up and was shocked to notice that I didn’t recognize my surroundings. I was faced with tile walls that looked like they hadn’t been renovated since 1974 and people loitered in the hallways that matched the same description. Hurriedly, I stepped out on the train, still on the phone, and rushed over to the other side of the tracks to check the train schedule home. I couldn’t stop staring in disbelief at the train schedule; I had missed the last train of the night by 5 minutes. Frantic, I hung up on my friend and checked the schedule on my phone. It revealed the same sad story. Additionally, it informed me that I was an hour and a half walk from home and had 25% of my cell phone battery left.
“Fabulous.” That was the only word that flicked through my mind.
I resignedly took stock of my surroundings. I was somewhere VERY north of the city surrounded by fields and I was dressed to the nines for a night out: high heels included. After scanning for a main road and finding none, I hiked out into the pasture that bordered the train station. Immediately I sunk ankle deep into the soggy, marshy ground ruining my shoes. “Well”, I supposed at that point, “I may as well slog through this mess since my shoes already belong in a garbage dump.”
I continued doggedly by moonlight, carefully stepping along until I came in contact with a fence. I correct myself; I got zapped by a fence. “In what universe is this necessary”, I asked myself, “to run a current through a pasture fence?! I mean honestly. This has got to be more effective on people than on animals.” Standing up from the ground I realized that I had not only ruined my shoes and my pride, but my favorite winter coat.
I don’t think I have ever felt more successful. Boiling with irritation, I purposefully stalked up the hill separating me from the train tracks. When I came to the chain link fence bordering the tracks I squatted down and ripped it out of the ground and shimmied under the hole I had made. (I will now apologize to the authorities for damaging their property.) Since there would not be another train until 4:30am, I figured it wouldn’t do any harm to walk down the rails. Plus, it’s always fun to feel like you’re tempting fate.
Plus I saw this little guy!
Eventually I saw a well-lit road just off the tracks and hopped the fence to trudge over there. When I stopped for a moment, I checked my phone. It let me know that it was 5*C, 1:00 in the morning and that I had an hour and a half walk to my house in the dark. I surmised that this would really take me closer to 2 hours since I was in heels and my feet already hurt, but I set off anyways. As I headed southbound I dreamed of calling taxis, I dreamed of warm beanies, and I dreamed of being able to see where my feet were wandering.
In fact here is a photo of what it looked like:
Since I had only 25% battery left on my phone, I thought it would be intelligent to save the little battery that I had in case of emergency so I walked in silence. The only company I had was a strong icy wind that rustled the fall leaves and the eerily bright light of the moon. In fact, I now understand why people actually USED the moon as a light source before public road lighting was common. I took it step by step, literally. Thankfully, other than being a mildly terrifying walk I eventually came to familiar surroundings. Once I recognized where I was, I bustled home to where I could blast my heater and defrost my poor fingers and toes while thanking them for enduring yet another one of my mishap adventures in Deutschland.