When I went to Amsterdam, not only did I get to check off a new city visited but also 'experience a train strike'. Yes, that was the very day that the Belgian workers for Thalys decided to strike, which I found out only after I arrived at the train station at the unholy hour of 6am and then waited around for an hour, not seeing my platform listed on the Departures board. When the word got around, some people started to leave, but I, having nowhere really to go, decided to hang around a little longer in the blind hope that something would happen. And it did! Just as I was about to take off and had come to accept that I might have to spend the weekend in Paris, a Thalys train pulled into the station. This brought new excitement not only because I was going to be able to make it to Amsterdam after all, but also because, as told by a conductor, they were cramming two trains into one, so seating assignments were now void - it was first come first serve. Nothing quite wakes up the mind like a real-life, early morning game of musical chairs with hundreds of angry strangers, where there are only enough seats for half and the 'losers' are forced to stand on a moving vehicle for several hours. So I arrived in Amsterdam a few hours late, shortening my already short stay, but the point is: I made it. And I'll always be grateful for that train - and more importantly, for my very comfortable seat on that train, which I promptly fell asleep in because nothing could have said 'I'm a winner' more than my face, sleeping with reckless abandon.
Date: November 2012
Camera: Nikon D40