My first encounter with the city of classical music was when I had work in the eastern Europe for a few days. I transited in Vienna on my way back to Jakarta for one night. On the plane to Vienna I was sitting in the back seats while my boss and colleagues were sitting in the front seats. When it’s time to get off the plane, it’s predicted that I got to get off the plane last. Everyone has already gone ahead to the imigration to catch the next plane. Being used to the crowded situation in Jakarta’s airport, I was surprised that no ones left went I was about to queue in the immigration. In fact no ones left in the airport except that one staff who was walking by as I went to the immigration. I check the local time and was sure that it was still 5.30 PM. It can’t be that the airpot will be closing at the hour right!?
It was just me and one immigration staff who was confused that I don’t have any valid schengen visa attached to my passport. I explained to her that my passport is available for the visa exemption and in disbelief because my passport is Indonesian passport. I told her (with a smile and a little nervous, immigration always makes me nervous) to check the list of countries and passport behind her and finally she agreed that my passport is exempted from visa and said sorry.
Since I’m lazy, I didn’t make any prepation to make the most of my time in Vienna except making sure I have a place to stay the night. I didn’t browse about the city highlights, the transport system, etc. I did asked a friend who used to live there, but it just that.
Finished with process in the immigration, I was finally greeted with a more lively athmosphere (still inside the airport). There were people in the airport! Haha! I went to the information desk and asked on how to get to the city. I was answered by a friendly guy who suggested me to ride the train and then change to subway. I also could buy the train ticket there but for the subway I need to get to the subway station first.
I rushed to the train station because he said the train leaves in 7 minutes. Running to the station which is quite far from the information desk while carrying a heavy woman’s purse (packed with I don’t know what) on the one shoulder, a big heavy luggage on the other hand, and a heavy laptop bag on top of the luggage. Luckyly, I have been participating in some 10Ks lately so I made it to the train in time.
Finding myself a comfy seat and catching my breath, I was enjoying the train ride until… Crap! I realised that I left my note book (along with the print out of airplane ticket, and the copy of the hostel I’m going to stay for the night and how to get there) in the information desk! Did I panicked? No. (Well maybe a little). Did I get off the train in the next station and went back to the airport to obtain my notebook? No.
I tried to stay calm. Thinking on how to get to my hostel. First, I need an internet connection. I still have a faint memory that I need to change train a few times and the I still need to find the hostel once I reach the closest train station. I had a little problem finding the name of the train station on the train map. The name of the stations are in Germany, so I asked someone on how many more station before I reached my destination.
By the time I reach the city, I get off the train and find a Starbucks store. I finally got my internet connection. Using my cellphone I checked my email to find my hostel and how to the get there.
When I reached the subway station, I was a little confuse on how to buy the ticket. I found a machine that looks like the ticket machine. But I’m not sure since everyone just walked pass the machine and went straight downstairs. There were no automatic gate to insert any ticket anyway. So following what everyone does, I walked downstairs straight to the platform.
Okay, this is really starting to look funny. Why didn’t I find any ticket machine? I’m already standing in the platform! The train came and I rode it. Still puzzled with the fact that I didn’t buy any ticket. I was worried if someone will check the ticket inside the train, but there wasn’t anyone checking any ticket! I exited in the next station and asked around again. It seems like I’m still a few station away from my destination.
Still with no ticket, I rode the train again until I arrived in my destination. Wow! I just rode a subway without any ticket! I put it in the back of my mind that the machine I saw before was the ticket machine, and I should but a ticket the next time I rode the subway. Haha.
I arrived in the station around 7 PM and once again greeted with a quiet neighbourhood. It was pretty dark and not many people passing by. Geez! Where is everyone!? I have no clue on where to go. I saw a phone box and tried to call the hostel but I couldn’t reach them. Thinking of finding another wifi so maybe I could email them, I put my eyes on a restaurant in front of the phone box. And considered, should I spend more money just to get my hand on a wifi while perhaps the hostel was just around the corner. While thinking this, I saw a guy passing by and stopped him. “I’m looking for a hostel around here… It’s name is W… W….” I can’t even remember the name and he cut me and said “Are you looking for Wombat?” “Yes! That’s it!” I was surprised that the stranger knew the name of my hostel.
It seemed that the hostel was really close to my current point (at that time). So I walked with my heavy luggage and purse and laptop to the hostel. It has been a loooong evening for me. Starting from forgoting my note in the information dest back at the airport, didn’t know how to buy a ticket, until getting lost finding the hostel. But the result was very rewarding. I finally arrived in my hostel. It was the best hostel I’ve ever been. The front desk was friendly, the hostel is clean and secure, the room is big and spacious. And I got all that with only 13 Euro for one night!
Now it’s time to have a nice bath then enjoy myself in the city of classical music! (npa).