Yesterday, I posted about the Halloween celebration I went to at Frankenstein’s Castle in Eberstadt, Germany. The party was fun, but getting back to Darmstadt was an adventure.
I went to Frankenstein’s Castle with two other friends. While waiting for the train to Eberstadt to arrive at the train station in Darmstadt, we met three other people who were also heading to Frankenstein’s Castle. We chatted a bit about costumes and what train stop to get off at, but once we got to the castle, the three of them went on their way and my friends and I went on ours.
After the party was over, the shuttle buses took partygoers back to the Eberstadt train station. My friends and I went towards the station entrance to check the schedule for the next train to Darmstadt, but suddenly the people we met earlier came out of the entrance and reported some bad news: the last train to Darmstadt had left for the night. The next train would not arrive for six hours. All six of us needed a new way to get back.
We all went to a nearby bus station, costumes and all, and waited for a bus that took us to where we could catch a streetcar to Darmstadt. But even once we got to the streetcar stop (around 1:30 AM!), we discovered the next streetcar would not be coming for 36 minutes.
One of our new friends asked us if we wanted to split a taxi between the six of us to get back to Darmstadt, and we all agreed. He called a taxi company. No one picked up. Called again. No response. He resignedly sat down to wait for the streetcar.
But we were tired, and I was nervous being out so late at night in an unfamiliar town. Even once the streetcar came, we would only be able to take it to the city center of Darmstadt, and we would then need to walk a couple miles back to the student apartments. So we finally encouraged the guy who had the number from the taxi company to call again.
The guy called a different taxi service this time, and finally, two taxis arrived to take us back. My friends and I thanked our taxi-finding friends and got into our taxi. We finally got back to the apartment safely at 2 AM, and the cost of the taxi was thankfully only a little over 4€ per person.
It was an interesting feeling being in a taxi. In the past two months, I have used my own feet and streetcars and buses as nearly all of my transportation. I realized how much I miss driving, and how much I miss having a seatbelt. The taxi ride wasn’t long, but it was enough to make me realize how very much I miss driving my own car.
I’m thankful I made it back safely, and I even learned a few life lessons. The morals of this story:
1. Always–ALWAYS! check the schedule of the return trains. If the last train that goes from your destination to the town your apartment is in leaves at midnight, know that and plan around it, or make alternate return transportation plans!
2. Make sure you have the phone numbers of two or three or more taxi companies in your phone that cover the towns and areas you will be in.
3. Travel in groups if you are unfamiliar with the area, and make new friends along the way. Be cautious and use common sense, but stranger does not always mean danger. (Calling a reputable taxi company to help a stranger isn’t creepy.)
4. And be thankful if you have a car where you live and can drive it. I very much look forward to being back where my car is and where I understand the rules of the road. (And where I can crank up the radio and sing along with no one able to hear me to tell me to shush.)
So my adventure to celebrate Halloween was both memorable and educational. And I got to ride in a car! And I do not ever want to stay out that late ever ever ever again. Yikes.