19th-21st June 2017
Slovakia wasn’t the luckiest of countries for me. It started off with a train having its running time changed without me knowing. Which meant I had to get an overnight train instead (paying for the reservation for that and the night at the hostel I had already booked!). It ended with me getting on the wrong train to Budapest, instead taking me in a totally different direction.
Usually, my mind is hard wired to reinterpret these events as a brilliant excuse to go explore a new town I would’ve never otherwise have found. Sala or Nove Zamky, for instance. As I poke my head outside and it receives an instant yawn and headache from the near 40’c weather though, it’s hard to see the silver lining.
Still, things always work out. If they don’t, it’s just character building and that’s an even better result, right? So let’s rewind. It’s 6am, I’ve just survived the rickety overnight train to Bratislava and I’m making my way to the hostel. When I arrive, I’m suddenly glad I have to pay for last night’s stay as well as it means I can go have a nap. My head barely hits the pillow.
Next thing I know it’s 6pm. I’ve been asleep for a good 12 hours and I’m in desperate need of a shower. As I’m about to leave the room, three girls enter. I smile. They looked shocked. I know, I look pretty rough, right.
“No way, you’re James!”
It seems my reputation precedes myself. This is rarely a good thing. I mentally prepare myself for what may be coming my way. As it turns out, these are the same three Irish girls who were staying in my room in the last hostel. What are the odds!
Although pleasantly surprised it doesn’t deter me from my plan to get washed and go see the town before I need to leave again.
Before finally grabbing some dinner at the Slovak pub. Along with a half-litre jug of Kofola, the local version of Coca Cola containing 30% less sugar but 50% more caffeine. After all, it was invented as a way to use up discarded caffeine from the roasting of coffee beans.
Back at the hostel, I grab my free beer (pretty cool, aye!) and take a seat in the beer garden. The Irish girls swan right to the massive group and introduce myself. I feel slight self-conscious, so think about going in when a lovely bunch of people ask if they can join me. We chat, toy with the idea of going out and play a few games of foosball (the German stormed to victory).
Overall, a very good night. I’m hopeful that I will get to meet up with Steve in the next city for a beer which’ll be nice.
I’m just hoping that after my 12 hour sleep-a-thon that I’ll be back to firing on all cylinders soon. I’ve been taking Ibuprofen the last few days, which have minimised my headaches but I continue to have a bit of a tummy knot. I guess it’s just erratic sleep and umpteen train journeys.