“Take Your Time”, sing Slovenian band Elvis Jackson, but this post is about the times I was waiting for the time to begin, as inspired by this post from A Faraway Home.
First the song. The drummer is a bit removed but still cousin, which makes me very proud. In Slovenia, with its zero degrees of separation, I bet he hears from girls all the time how they must be related. 😀 In this video many other Slovenian (and Bosnian) celebrities lip-sync to the song.
And now the count-down to the waiting times.
10. Ten minutes I’ve just spent trying to think of No. 5 in this list.
9. More than nine hours it took my Intercity train to travel between Trieste and Roma that day (about 45 minutes of it was the delay), the second time I was visiting my future home. I wasn’t strictly waiting (which is a good trick) but rather solving sudoku puzzles in a book, pencil and rubber-style, and the time never flew so fast.
8. At least eight hours I spent trying to get back home from Trieste after my first visit to Roma. No matter how this is a border town with Slovenia, no matter how my home in Ljubljana is just 100 km away, this proved almost impossible. There were no trains between these two countries, there were no more busses after the bus from Florence to Sofia in Bulgaria had passed with no room on it for new passengers. I hooked up with a Russian lady and a Berliner guy going to Ljubljana on a conference, protesting about why they chose such a godforsaken place, who both counted on the same bus. How we did it deserves a separate post. Suffice to say, it was memorable.
7. About seven hours we spent on the bus travelling to a two-day festival in Germany featuring Rage Against the Machine, Therapy? and Clawfinger, to name but a few. Somebody thought a good idea to put some guarana in our scotch and cola and this turned the three of us into unstoppable, blabbering, giggling, screaming, hollering machines, especially after they put in the sound system the tape mix I’d made entitled ‘911’ and didn’t take it out again. By the end of the night the entire bus knew the order of the songs and possibly the lyrics and must have been cursing us and natural medicine and Ice-T. (They were the ones waiting for this ride to stop, not us.)
6. It must have been about six hours that we spent in the railway station on the border between Romania and Hungary after we had been thrown off the train by the Romanians for lack of entry stamp in our passports and for refusing to pay a satisfactory amount upon exit. I had more hidden but wouldn’t give.
Most of that time we waited sitting in hard chairs at the end of the dark hallway guarded by a machine-gunner, while the dice could be heard rolling in the room opposite. Eventually they came to collect those 40 Deutsche Marks offered initially and let us go. Except no trains were passing due to the strike of Hungarian Railways. So we waited some more until an ancient and slow strike-breaking train puffed in.
When we reached Budapest, we realised there was no way to travel to Slovenia that day, the strike was all-encompassing. What does a Slovenian do? Call the parents, four and a half hour-drive away. My friend called his and very soon it was father to the rescue with a nice meal on the way and all.
5. We had to endure five means of transport before arriving to our annual destination, back in the golden years of family holidays in Croatia, Pelješac peninsula, Duba. Every year it was the same: taxi to the train station in Ljubljana on August 9, sleeper train to Ploče, ferry to Trpanj, Luka’s fishing boat to Duba, some car or something to take at least our luggage up to the village from the little port, we could walk. And then we were there and didn’t wait for the eternal August to end, even though it always did, one year forever when the war stepped in.
4. About four hours we spent waiting in front of the tiny Klagenfurt airport for it to open, since we just had to be sure to arrive on time for my first flight to the USA, and we overdid it, and arrived in snowy, dark Austria – it was December and we were dressed for California – hours too soon, and had to wait it out in a tower of sorts which was the only thing unlocked. Then, as the day progressed, I was amazed how they managed to cram 15 hours lived through into two hours passed on the clock (or close). It was then that I realised that should one move to America and never come back, one would live longer.
3. Three days I had to wait for my flu to pass just after I’d bought the weekly train ticket between London and the town where the friend I was staying with lived, about an hour from London. The train ticket costed more than the return airline ticket. The first thing I did was go to the theatre and catch me some of that wicked flu that killed several people that year. For three days I was unable to move, but then I had enough and went straight to Stonehenge which saw to getting me back to well. Ewan McGregor was worth it though.
2. Two schools, primary and secondary, waiting for it to be over, on a daily basis.
1. One night was how long we went without sleeping after the Neil Young concert with Pearl Jam minus Ed in a square in the middle of Salzburg. Our ride was returning home in the morning so we had to spend the night in some way. When one has to stay up, barhop, forage because the hunger is immense – no matter how beautiful the city, it drags. Except if you land in the movie Before Sunrise, but this wasn’t quite it.
To finish off with another waiting-related song – yes, it was on that damn tape too but the band didn’t play it at their concert in Ljubljana, no matter how much the patient boys were waiting for it.
And no matter how much time will pass, I’ll always know the next song: Jesus was an architect previous to this career as a prophet.
And the only thing to do was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long.
Photo: a © signature mmm production