The title refers to what my friend said when I presented her my situation at 2am on Tuesday 15th of December. What can be so hardcore? Let’s start from the beginning.
Day 1, Monday the 14th:
A free day for me. I am supposed to prepare a presentation for next day on one of the most random papers I’ve read and write a 1500 essay about it as well. The deadline for the essay is 4pm on Wednesday. However, for me, this is 4am, because I’m leaving at that time. Sleep count: 3 hours.
So on Monday day and night, I surprisingly managed to write 700 words, create Powerpoint slides and even picture it in my head 10 minutes before presenting it, which went rather well considering my presentation skills compare to that of a monkey – and I’m probably not as funny. What is worse, presentations took the whole day. At this point, my to-do list included: -
- Printing boarding cards and other travel stuff
- Cleaning up my place
- Downloading GPS maps, preparing playlists, transferring photos
- Complete and submit an MSc application to Imperial
- And most importantly: finish the essay!
For a twist, my friends decided that same evening is the best evening to go to a Korean restaurant for some food. As an exemplary Imperial student, I accepted. Food was good, and so was soju. I returned to my place at 10pm, 6 hours before ETD. I wrote the remaining 800 words, but I would not classify it as essay, but rather random words on a sheet of paper. If I were marking this essay, 45 would be very generous, and I usually overestimate my scores. But it was done, I even managed to pack (or rather throw the required stuff to the suitcase). Cleaning up didn’t go that well, but I removed all the products that could result in a bad smell when I come back next month. So all good. I even got 1 hour of sleep!
So I rush to South Kensington Station at 4 am, wait for the bus that gets me to Clapham Junction, board that and I am in Gatwick a few minutes before 6 am. Now, quiz time. What do you think is the most direct route to go to my house in Poland? If you answered “Take a direct flight to the airport closest to you”, then you’re right. But what would Maciej do? Well, picture the most in-direct route you can imagine. Yes, I did. I decided to go to Poland by going to Malta, and then to Venice, and then to Poland. Funnily enough, that was cheaper than the direct flight, and I always wanted to see Malta. Downside? The whole thing will take 39 hours door-to-door… I am an adventurer though, and arrived at Malta in the afternoon. A lovely place, with a lot of charm (especially the buses). Also, as I was enjoying a sunny Maltese weather with 17OC, I got some reports of snowing in London. Haha-HAHAHA. I then left Malta for Venice. That was a bad decision. Bad, bad decision. I was supposed to spend the night at Treviso airport (what’s the point of paying for hotel?), and then fly at 1pm the following day. However, as soon as I arrived, I noticed a major flaw in that plan: sleeping at this place is impossible. There is a total of maybe 20 seats, all made of metal. Alternatively, you can use the floor. Heating seems to be off at night as well, and considering it’s freezing outside, is not that fun at all. To make things even worse, THERE IS NO WIFI. Taking internet and sleep away from a geek is like not allowing him to him to breathe.
So I felt like suffocating for the whole night, waiting until my boarding time. My initial plan to go to Venice for a few hours was also scrapped (I’ve been there already, it’s cold, and I didn’t like the idea of paying €7.70 for all of that). Little did I know that the weather in Poland was even worse (or better for someone), and it was snowing all the time, with very low temperatures. If you remember, last year I complained about the inability of London authorities to handle winter well – I apologise. It’s the Katowice Airport that where the stupid people work. It snows in Poland every year. The weather is bad sometimes. So why is the ILS not working properly at 4th biggest airport in the country? It’s above me. But back to the story – the flight was delayed by 6 hours. 360 minutes. Ages, in other words. Not being able to handle the boredom any more, and after having a free pizza kindly provided by my airline, I decided it’s time to visit the local town in search of free or unsecured internet. I don’t have this tshirt, but my Nokia E51 phone works well in terms of wifi detection. Imagine my happiness, when I spotted the MacDonald’s Ristorante in close vicinity. Imagine my surprise when I noticed there is no internet there. Seriously, MacDonalds, WTF? Free wifi is the only good thing left in this fast food (not counting the free MacFlurry student deal). After wandering in Treviso centre for a little while, and finding a wireless network on the street good enough to allow me to check my email and Facebook, I returned to the terminal. And I waited. And I am still waiting. At the moment, it’s 18:39, and my latest departure time is 19:20. Hopefully, I’ll land where I’m supposed to… So, to sum up, and make the wordcount of this post closer to a perfect 1000, here are two lessons I learned from this experience:
- Direct route is usually the better route
- Public WiFi in Italy = FAIL
- Effects of sleep deprivation over 4 days are pretty funny, scary and exciting at the same.
- And that’s it. Exactly 1000 words