• Samuel Valentine

journal #4 karma day in Vienna

Having had the sublime time I did in Vienna, I was due some bad luck.

I had purchased a seat for my guitar so I didn't have to put it in the hold. As I bought the seats well in advance they were both relatively cheap.

Helmi, Maxi and I stayed up late the night before my 7am flight. We went to bed at 2am. I woke up and booked an Uber two hours later, getting to the airport without problem for 4.40. I had a lot of stuff packed into my backpack, carry on and guitar case and was wearing three layers of clothes, which was fine as sin hadn't risen yet.

I got to the gate. It was already hot and I was extremely tired...I could feel my self drifting off, I remember thinking 40mins till the gate opens, no problem. Before I knew it I was awake and there was no-one around. Fuck. I bolted upright and ran to the check in desk and there was the bus full of people departing. 6.44. "Sorry sir, the gate closed four minutes ago", "What? I was sat right there" I said. Pointing hopelessly at a seat a few meters back. "Sorry sir, there's nothing we can do".

So, I went to the ticket desk but they were only offering £150 per seat at 6pm. So I checked online. I decided I would leave my guitar a the airport so I only had to buy one seat, but then grew concerned that I'd draw some of the wrong kinds of attention sneakily leaving a large black case somewhere. So I made a plan to head into Vienna by bus, give my guitar to someone and have a day pooling around the city, waiting for my 6pm flight I had just purchased.

So, with three layers on (as I was wearing all my clothes as I hadn't purchased checked baggage) I headed into the now hot Vienna in the bus. I'd also purchased vast amounts of chocolate at the gate, gifts for family and friends. Carrying vast amounts of crap and melting chocolate, I boarded the sweaty bus.

I got to Vienna and my phone immediately died, so I went to cafe to charge it. On the way I found a charity shop who accepted my guitar. I felt pleased about that.

I then decided to rent an electric scooter to zoom around the city. We had been doing this the last few days. Riding on the pavements, running red lights, generally going for it. I was really enjoying it, getting into a flow, speeding down along the Danube, when a man brought his bike in front of me on the cycle path. 'who's this idiot?' I thought to myself, attempting to circumnavigate him, there on his uniform in big white bold script 'polizia'. 'Oh fuck'. He began speaking to me in German, "English please" I said, I slight squeal in my voice. "Do you know you just went through a red light, is there a reason you did that". "I genuinely didn't even know I had...I'm so sorry" I'm feeling this is heading south, so there is already a slight pleading quality to my voice. "That will an €80 fine, will you be paying cash or card?" At this stage I'm working hard not to cry, everything that's already happened. "Please, you don't know the day I've had, I missed my flight..." I continue. This man's countenance is that of a classic stern police officer, giving me no ground. I can tell this is a losing battle. "I'll pay card".

I made it back to the airport in time. Got my flight fine. Phew.

In England the trains were mostly not running, so what should have been a 3 hour journey to 7. My Dad picked me up from the station, which was such a blessing.

The next day I started a labouring job laying limestones slabs. Mixing cement and cutting the slabs using a petrol angle grinder. Hard, serious work, but I was pleased to land back on Earth, after the etherial and alien journeying of ceremonies and the final drudging part of my trip.

This post has taken me so long to write, I'm actually now on Oahu, Hawaii. More to follow.


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