April 21, 2011 - Lyon, France

And you thought we were going to Prague. WE DID TOO. We missed the plane. By about 5 minutes. No wait, let me correct that: we missed the closing of the gate door by about five minutes. And they couldn't be bothered to check two of us in real quick, which means we sat in the airport crying and angry for about 2 hours trying to figure out what the heck to do. Would've just flown somewhere else if it hadn't been so expensive... and we hadn't had all our hostels and buses for Eastern Europe booked. Anyways, let me begin at the beginning, because actually the story starts a long time before the airport...

Tuesday: Spent most of the day finishing up research for my essay and then stayed up until 4am trying to write as much as possible. Slept 4-5 hours.

Wednesday: Woke up early and began packing my backpack. Ate a little something and realized I was eating really weird because I didn't want to open any packages in the fridge before leaving. Finished packing, finished booking all the hostels and buses, which took until very late. Printed out Ling and my paperwork sometime before midnight. Grabbed my stuff and booked it out the door to catch the last metro and.... MISSED IT. By maybe 2 seconds. At this point I should've realized that all transportation for the next 24 hours was going to not work out. But no big, I was just headed to Ling's place anyways where I was going to sleep for a few hours before we headed to the train station, which would take us to the plane.

Thursday (technically): So I went to the first velov station (the bikes for rent): CLOSED. Walked to the second velov station which was fortunately open and proceeded to BIKE all the way ACROSS the CITY with an enormous backpack on. At 12:30 at night. Nobody catcalled me, haha, and that was a plus, but I did get a few sounds of sympathy and encouragement. Went to Ling's place via the train station (which turned out to be really sketch. Glad we didn't spend the night here like we had thought about) so I could time how long it would take to bike the trip. Got to Ling's residence, but heyguesswhat there weren't any velov stations open in which to PARK the bike (which means I'd get fined by the half hour) so I had to go way out of my way to find a free station... at which I met a very nice Mexican who walked with me back to the residence (he lives there and had also been trying to find a velov station) and let me in. Crashed on Ling's floor and slept for maybe 2 hours, if I count the time generously.

Thursday (for realz): We got up and left the residence at 4:25ish (which should have been AMPLE time via bike) and went down to the velov station but heyguesswhat apparently VELOVS CLOSE at the wee hours of the morning. Because that makes sense. Because the reason one installs rentable bikes throughout a city that are supposed to work all night is because there isn't any other transportation to take. We walked to the next one, but it was closed too. Tried hailing a cab but none would stop for us. I'm about having a nervous breakdown at this point, having not really eaten and about 7 or 8 hours of sleep in the last 50 hours. We nearly run to the second metro station (I was under this sort of delusion that maybe we would find a taxi or a working velov station or someone would offer us a ride) because it hadn't opened yet and by the time we got there, the metro had opened up and we had literaly 5 minutes before the train we needed would leave for the airport. We got to the train station 10 minutes after it had left. Now, see the problem with Lyon airport is that they have this thing called the Rhonexpress, which is theoretically a good idea: a metro-ish train that runs fairly frequently between the city center and the airport, which is remarkably far away. EXCEPT that at the time we needed it, it was only running once every half an hour, and it only started running and hour before our flight. AND it costs roundtrip about as much as it costs to go to GENEVA. Highway robbery. We took the later express, thinking that maybe we could still just RUN to the plane, as the easyjet terminal is pretty small. We RAN. We made it through security. The door was closed. We grabbed the nearest airport man and he was obnoxious enough to tell us to make our complaints to the airline and not to the airport (which he called out to our backs because we already had decided he was mostly useless to us about the time he decided to be snarky). We went to the next gate and asked the woman there to help us and she called the woman who was running our gate, who took us to the door, OPENED IT, stuck her head through and chatted briefly with someone on the other side (meanwhile Ling is looking over her shoulder and can SEE THE PLANE BOARDING, not finished, boarding), CLOSES THE DOOR, and tells us it's TOO LATE. It was 7 minutes after boarding, 23 minutes before the plane left the ground. We talked to the ticket person, who informed us that no, we can't exchange our tickets, and oh, if we want to still go to Prague Saturday, it would be a 60 euro PENALTY to change our flight to then. As if missing the only flight for the next two days wasn't penalty enough. So we sat in the airport for the next two hours (during which time we WOULD have been arriving in Prague...) debating what to do. Thought about buying tickets to somewhere random, but everything was too expensive. There was a bus option, but it would get us there later than the plane. We felt like such losers. So we took pictures of ourselves, haha. At this point, we were so tired, devastated, and angry that everything was either hilarious or earth-shattering. We ended up buying the tickets Saturday, so we'll still get to go. We'll have to readjust the schedule a little (less time in Prague, booo!) and poor Ling only gets 5 days now, for a lot more espensive trip. AND THEN we had to PAY for the stupid Rhonexpress to take us back to Lyon again!! GAH that was just the icing on the cake. There really is like no other way though to get to and from the airport, other than owning a car or taking a taxi (really expensive). There's bunches of buses, but they all go to ski resorts or neighboring cities, which ALSO makes SENSE.

Blargh. So much stupid today. I went home and crashed. Now I get to work on my homework for an extra day and a half. LUCKY ME. :S


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