Prague: Quite the Start to this City
Prague started out rough for me. We had taken an overnight train from Budapest, and we were in compartments. In the compartment, there was Meghan and I and three others. We were all sleeping and when I woke up in the morning my purse was gone. The one time I was not the most cautious with my purse and it disappears. We had had the door to the compartment closed, and Meghan and I who were sitting by the door had our seats pulled out and our legs up on each others seats to block the doorway. Beside me, one of the other guys had his feet also up blocking the aisle. Any time the door was opened by the train workers checking tickets, Meghan and I both woke up immediately. (You don't really sleep the heaviest on a train.) I had my purse on the floor on the side of me opposite the door, so it was below my legs and between me and the next guy, and since it was not really possible to get into or out of the compartment without waking Meghan or I, I thought it would have been okay. Wrong. Those b*****s who took my purse are good. (We were talking to some people in Germany about it when we were there the week after, and one person told me she heard that the theives sometimes fill the compartment with gas when you are sleeping so you don't wake up when they rob you. Sneaky. I don't know if it's true, but if it is, that's crazy. Damn thieves.) So I panicked for a minute in the morning when the train stopped in Prague and my purse was gone. But as we were getting off, a woman walked out of the compartment two over from us and she had my purse in her hand. It had been left in her compartment and she found it when she got on and had been planning on turning it into security. So I got my purse back, and when I checked it my credit card and Eurail pass were still there (and Meghan had my passport in her purse) but my cameras and iPod charger were gone. (I had my iPod throughout the night so at least I still had that too.) I was pretty lucky to get that all back. But still super sad that all my pictures were gone. Meghan has some pictures on her camera, but I still had lots that she didn't have unfortunately, such as my birthday in Croatia. Oh well. S*%+ happens, right? Unfortunately.
Now you're probably thinking "That really sucks." But wait! There is more to the story. It's not over yet...
So Meghan and I get off the train, realizing there is not much we can do about the situation. When we got off, though, I decided to quickly go back on the train to check to see if anything had fallen out of my purse in the compartment where it was found. The train ended I Prague so I figured I had a minute to check. Now Meghan is on the platform with all of our stuff except my purse which I had in my hand and I'm in the train when I hear the doors shut and the train starts to move. Oh crap. Not good. Not good at all. So I run down the train quickly to see if there was any open doors left, and one closed two seconds before I got to it. Next thing I tried to do was find someone who worked on the train, but couldn't find anyone. Some guys on the train tried talking to me (clearly they could tell I was stressed) but I had no idea what they were saying. Also, I had no idea where the train was going or what was going to happen, so I decided to get off at the next place it stopped and reassess the situation once I was off. Luckily, it stopped about five minutes later, and I hopped off. The station where I got off was completely shut down as it was before 6:30 am, and there was really nobody there. Not really knowing how to get back to Meghan since I had no map, no phone, and no Czech money, I decided the logical thing to do was to follow the train tracks back to Meghan. Since I had my iPod, I figured I could always google a map if I found an Internet connection, but unfortunately there was no Internet connection where I was. Off I went to follow the train tracks. I tried taking a street that ran along the tracks, but after a while it took a turn away from them. Not wanting to go in that direction, I backtracked a bit and tried another road. So I managed to take roads that followed the tracks, but an hour later I still had no idea where I was or how much further I would have to go. And I still hadn't managed to find an internet connection that I could use. By this time there were more people on the streets and trams were running, but I had no clue where the trams went. Finally, I saw McDonalds down the street. Knowing many McDonalds have wifi connections, I set odd in that direction to google a map, but as I was walking I found a signal I could connect to on the street. That would have been nice to find an hour earlier, but better late than never! So I managed to download a map and realized I was only 3.5 km away! Yay! I also realized my plan to follow the tracks had been flawed as the tracks had split earlier and I followed the wrong set. Oops. But now with a map in my hand, I set off in the proper direction.
Meanwhile, Meghan was left all alone in the station and all our stuff. She being in the same situation as I was, not knowing where the train was heading or how long before i would have a chance to reappear, she put on her backpack and mine on her front, took our extra bags, and went in search of an information desk. She managed to get to a help desk, where she explained the situation to a couple of people there. After she finished explaining that she had her friend's stuff and that her friend was on a train and wondered where the train was going, the man looked at her and said, "Okay, go back out to the platforms and to the left. There you will find the lost property desk. Report your friend there." So now I am lost property! Meghan just looked at him and started laughing. The woman, realizing this is not what Meghan needed, shook her head and proceeded to explain that the train was going to be cleaned and that people there would be able to help me get back if I got off there.
An hour and a half and about 8km later, I managed to get back to the train station and find Meghan. What a start to the day. And it was only 8:00 am by this point.
So I missing all my pictures, but I did end up with quite the story as I got lost in Prague without Meghan!! And I did get a head start over Meghan on seeing the sites as I ran past some in the morning!