11 April 2011

Armchair Travel - Clothes no more!

Well it's back to armchair travel - I have a nice stack of travel novels checked out from the library. But I thought to provide one of my own story for your armchair travel reading treasure......

The year was 2002..... I had just finished up a summer (well most of a summer) at Camp Lachenwald in Germany. Jessica (my cousin) flew out to Germany and we commenced a journey through Eastern Europe. Our itinerary: Frankfurt - Prague - Vienna (okay not Eastern Europe) - Bratislava - Budapest - Warsaw and return to Frankfurt. We took this journey via train.

I expect that I will fall back on a number of stories from this journey, but I'd like to start with one from the end. Jessica and I had the great idea to travel with old clothes and 'leave' them behind (and thus create room in our backpacks for souvenirs). We had stayed at a hotel in Warsaw, and were getting ready to head to the train station to take the train back to Frankfurt. Our adventure was nearly over. As we packed, each of us left behind a set of clothes - shirt and pants. We hoped that someone who needed it would find it and take it. We put them on top of the trashcan so as to be clear that they were being left behind deliberately, but not in it so that they could be easily retrieved. So the stage is set. Jessica and I went downstairs to check out and as we were just about to leave when a woman from housekeeping comes running down the stairs...... in her hands are the clothes we left behind! She was holding them unfolded and as she ran, they flapped like flags. In her very limited English she managed to convey that we had left these items behind! In our even more limited Polish we had no choice but to thank her for her diligence and concern. She had obviously rushed down several flights of stairs to ensure that we not leave without them!
We took the clothes and looked at each other. We couldn't do anything else but take them. At the same time, we did NOT want them....We balled them up under our arms, not bothering to find a place in our packs for it and headed out. Only after we left the hotel did we begin to laugh at the futility of the situation! We walked to the station, looking for a clothing donation box along the way. However none was to be found.... we boarded our train for Frankfurt. About 7 hours later we disembarked....as for the clothes, well they found a nice spot under the seat and we wished them happy trails.
I'd like to think that they eventually found their way to someone who needed them!