Dream // The Train Ticket

I had my second travel-related dream the other day. I see a trend, which means this may become a series. While this dream doesn’t have anything to do with my Indian visa, I know it stems from this week's attempt at getting one.

After talking with Nick (my family friend and contact for my India trip), I realized I needed to get my visa application in the mail as soon as possible. When I’m in a hurry to do something, my detail-oriented personality seems to go out the window. I rush to get something done but fail to actually make sure I have all the details accounted for. So just as I was about to send off my application, I realized I made a major mistake on it (a completely avoidable mistake) and I'd have to completely redo all the tedious steps and paperwork. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it did delay my sending it in by a few days and caused some confusion on my end.

I did drop it off to FedEx yesterday and my fingers are crossed that the visa application gets accepted without incident and I’ll be good to go. But as this experience and my dream acknowledges: when I’m in a hurry, I need to triple check my work, and apparently never buy train tickets from a kiosk.

I’m in a Paris train station. I'm heading to Amsterdam, with a connection in Brussels. I am extremely tired and having some time before the Paris o Brussels train leaves, I lay down to try to sleep. The place I chose to lay down is right by the ticket kiosk. Thinking I can buy a ticket on the train, I don’t really pay attention to it. I’m planning to get on the 1:10pm train to Brussels, but have some time to spare.

While I’m looking at the kiosk from my vantage point of the floor, I notice I can buy a 4:02pm ticket for the Brussels to Amsterdam train. I buy two tickets, one for me, and one for my friend, Maggie, who also is in Paris and is trying to get to Amsterdam. But note, I have yet to purchase a ticket from Paris to Brussels! (Also, I don’t actually get up fully from the ground to order the tickets, I sit up and reach over to buy the tickets from the floor, so I can’t fully see the screen and what I’m actually doing.)

People are lining up to board the train. I realize (finally) that I need to buy a ticket. I head back to the kiosk only to see that it’s too close to the 1:10pm departure time to buy a ticket from the kiosk. Most people at this point would rush around, realizing they made a mistake, and try to figure it out before the train leaves. But I, on the other hand, decide that I can’t do anything. I stand there pretending like everything is fine. That this is what I had planned all along. 

While I was thinking I was so smart to get the two tickets from Brussels to Amsterdam, I didn’t see that I had actually paid $100 each and I couldn’t even use them! Instead of freaking out, I just play it like everything is fine while internally I’m kicking myself for spending $200 on nonrefundable tickets, that I'll most definitely miss.

I’m standing in Paris with two tickets from Brussels to Amsterdam and no way to get actually get to Brussels. I glance over at the kiosk and see the 1:10 ticket option actually is available! I lunge at the machine and buy two tickets straight away. But in my haste, I don’t pay close attention to the day of the tickets and instead of buying two tickets for today's 1:10pm train, I buy two for a train leaving 10 days from today! Once again, I just kick myself for not paying attention and chide myself for being too proud and dumb to ask for help. I’m thinking of every other option (taxi, bus, etc) that could get me to Brussels instead of the obvious option -- asking for help from a ticket attendant or just try to buy a ticket on the train. 

So the train leaves Paris for Brussels, while I'm trying to figure out how.to.get.to.Brussels! I was beyond frustrated that I was too stubborn to ask for help and rushed to purchase something and wasted a lot of money for something that didn't matter.