I would have regretted getting on that train. Had I been an avid fan of european football it would have been one of the most exciting moments of my life. But that not being the case, I turned down the invitation to join a train full of maniac Berlin soccer fans.
My connection time in Hannover was entirely too short. I arrived at my track just as my train to Berlin was pulling away. I rushed to the train station’s information kiosk.
Please, I’ve just missed my train to Berlin. I’m traveling to Prague. What should i do?
There’s a train leaving from track 9 in six minutes.
Well, needless to say, when I arrived at track 9 I felt inclined to try my chances with the next train and let that one go on, despite the promises from the drunken blue and white clad fans that there was plenty of room for me.
When a proper train headed to Berlin eventually rolled into the station, I hopped on board hoping that somehow I could still make a connection to Prague, seeing how I missed the original one. I quickly disembarked, well, as quickly as any girl with two large suitcases and one large gym bag can maneuver, and searched the departure times. Ah, 45 minutes ... and on the same track. wonderful! So, I settled in and make sure everything was in order.
My neurological pulses began to quicken. I didn’t remember seeing my passport when showing the conductor my ticket on the train to Berlin.
I checked my travel bag.
There was no use searching the other bags. I knew exactly where it was. It was in my dad’s computer scanner. Just before the taxi came to take me to the train station I was in the office copying my passport so my parents and i would both have photocopies should anything happen to it while i was in Prague. During the copying, a missionary called on the phone and then the doorbell rang. I quickly ended the call, rushed downstairs to meet the taxi driver, and ... you’ve got it ... I forgot my passport in the scanner.
So I had to catch a train back to Celle (only a 3 hour trip), purchase a new ticket to Prague for tomorrow, hail a taxi at the train station, and break into my parents’ home (Who knew there was a key behind the planter on the back window ledge!). Ironically they were gone for the day with the rest of the Hannover church on a field trip to Berlin to visit various Dietrich Bonhoeffer sites.
With no way of contacting them to let them know that their daughter would be home when they got back, I left a note on the door.
“I’m home. Supposedly they don’t allow Americans without passports across the Czech border. Don’t worry, I’ve got new tickets.”
Not one to sit around doing nothing, I decided to take my camera and walk about our town’s castle and enjoy a nice cold glass of ice coffee at a local cafe watching people stroll by on this unusually warm evening. (You do know that it doesn’t really get dark here during the summer months till after 10 pm, right?)
My only regret ... I didn’t get all the way to the Czech border to find that my passport was not with me. What a magnificent memory that would have made! Being turned away at the Czech border.