Stranded

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It is 8:30 a.m. and I am on the way to work. That isn’t completely unsual (albeit a little earlier than usual). The unusal part is that I won’t be in the office before lunchtime at the earliest. My commute is 4 hours today.

I went up north on Friday to give a speech at the Economic Affairs Council in the city where my aunt lives. So I took the opportunity to pay her a visit. (Which was great! We saw “On the basis of sex” about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, highly recommended.) Since I was already halfway to my parents’ place, I travelled further north to see them and be shown the progress on their new house.

At home, I almost obsessively listen to the radio news, A calls me “news addicted”. But when I am away and my routine falters, I eat D├Âner and disregard the news. This wouldn’t be a big problem usually. But it turned out to be yesterday when I had missed an important piece of information: a storm was coming.

I had decided to leave later in the day to be able to see my friend Jonna in Bremen which is en route home. When I got to the station at 5:30 p.m., I learned that no trains were running anymore. Had I left two hours earlier, I probably would’ve caught the last train going south. Now, it was just tons of passengeres stranded on the platforms. The storm had taken down trees and all train connections to North-Rhine-Westphalia had to be suspended for the entire day and night. “Shit’s really hit the fan down there”, the attendant on platform 8 informed me. “You can get to Osnabr├╝ck sometime today, but I don’t know when. What I do know is that you definitely will not get further than that until earliest tomorrow”.

There is no use fighting the weather, I figured. So I turned and got on the train back to my parents’ place. I was very lucky to be able to stay with them, I learned that other passengers with nowhere to go had to stay in the trains. All night!

So now I’m on the way to work again. Currently, I’ve made it as far as yesterday, Bremen. Things are looking better today though, my train has not yet been cancelled. I put “Inget stoppar oss nu” (Nothing’s gonna stop us now”, with the spot-on-line “You can forget Monday morning”) on my Spotify as an omen for me to get to my destination. Inget stoppar oss nu!

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