Going home after Agora Catania

Sitting on Arlanda airport in Stockholm ready for my next trip, I think about the last time I travelled by plane. In the end of September, the Autumn Agora took place in Catania. Yes, that’s on Sicily. Since I’d moved to the cold and dark yet extremely beautiful city of Stockholm in August, I could use some sun. Super early in the morning I woke up to catch my flight from Stockholm to Eindhoven, where I met my long lost (1 month tops) friends that were also going to Agora Catania. We took the plane to Catania and the Agora could start. After 4 days of meetings, 4 nights of intense partying and 4 days meeting new and old people, the Agora was almost over. My flight would leave at 11 in the morning.

After a hectic European night, I stumbled back to the gym to get 45 minutes of sleep (worst idea ever). Before I fell asleep I realized I hadn’t checked in yet. Since I was flying with Ryanair, I could not wait any longer and had to check in right away. Thus began my struggle of first of all unlocking my phone while incredibly, mythologically, “European-nightly” drunk. I succeeded in checking in, went to bed and got some minutes of sleep. Amazingly, I woke up in time, packed my stuff and started my journey to the airport. I found out that one of my good friends (Rubén from AEGEE-Alicante) was flying at about the same time, so we could travel to the airport together. While waiting for the bus some sketchy cab driver asked us if we needed to get to the airport and since we were both semi-sleepwalking, we didn’t ask any questions and got in the car. We arrived at the airport, went through the security, and so far everything was going really smoothly. Suspiciously smoothly…

Since we were a bit early, we sat down at the gate. Because I had had maybe 45 minutes of sleep, I fell asleep at the gate, only to wake up 10 minutes after the boarding slot. There was nobody at the gate anymore, so of course I panic. Running around the airport, I try to find someone that can STOP THAT PLANE and get me on it. Unfortunately, I was not able to get on the flight anymore…

Shit. I missed my flight… and why? Because while I was asleep, Ryanair changed the gate. This is why I didn’t wake up (along with the 45 minutes of sleep and the likely possibility of me still being drunk). I had to find another way to get back to Stockholm and I did what every sane person would’ve done: I called my mom.

Together we tried to find a replacement flight to Stockholm on the same day. You always hear these stories about crazy cheap last-minute flights. Well, this was not one of them. I will not bother you with the exact amount but let’s just say that it was the financial equivalent of being in a cage match with two Grizzly bears and Bear Grylls. I found a flight to Amsterdam and one from Eindhoven to Stockholm the next morning. I ended up in Amsterdam and slept at one of my oldest friends’ place, which made for a nice reunion. The next morning I took the train to Eindhoven and took the plane to Stockholm. Having lost a lot of money but also having had an unforgettable week(end), I fell onto my bed and slept for 16 hours. The moral of the story? Don’t do European night, kids…

Or well, kinda do. The stories are worth the cage match with the three bears.


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