Photo: Sleepless in Stockholm. March 2013
Who knew you couldn’t buy bus tickets (for city busses) on the bus in Sweden? I thought this was generally normal practice: get on the bus, tell the driver where you’re going, and pay the necessary fee. Not in Sweden. So there I was in Stockholm at 3:29am and getting on the bus to Arlanda airport.
‘Sorry.’ The driver says, ‘You can’t buy tickets on the bus.’
Looking around sheepishly, ‘Umm, where can I get a ticket?’ I ask.
‘You can’t. Just get on, its OK’
Phew! And so my journey home began. First though, was the mandatory conversation with the drunk guy on his way home from a night out. I think you can see a lot about a city by walking around (sober) in the late hours of the night. Not to mention it can also be somewhat amusing. Although there are a more that a few places I wouldn’t recommend walking around in, but Stockholm seems fairly safe.
Sometime after midnight Tuesday, after over 30 hours of travel from Stockholm, I made it home to Santa Barbara. It shouldn’t have been such a long trip, but the normal delays at San Fransisco helped to add a few hours to my journey. I had tried to change to an earlier flight, but it would have cost me $75 to change everything at the ticket counter. A few hours aren’t worth that much money to me, so I decided to stay with my normal flight. But I was told that when I got to the gate, I could go and check about an earlier flight and could maybe get on one. So I go to the gate, but there I’m told that since I have a checked bag, I couldn’t change my flight.
So a few hours pass, and then I see that my scheduled flight has been canceled. Great. I’m put on a plane a couple hours later, which gets one of those continually increasing departure times as the delays increase and increase. I really wish they would just say how late the plane is going to be so I could possibly plan something else, instead of just adding 5 minutes to the departure time every 5 minutes.
Shortly before midnight I finally arrive in Santa Barbara and head over to the baggage collection. My bag never shows up. Great. I figured there was a 50% chance of this happening, and I was right. So I head over to talk to someone. ‘Duncan? A big grey bag?’ they ask. Yep. ‘Oh, your bag has been here for a few hours already…’ Ha! Then I mumble something about too bad me not arriving a few hours earlier…